I’ve just sat down at my computer to watch a 25-minute compilation video of ‘Cute Pug Puppies Getting Baths’, a favourite genre of mine, when I’m greeted with the unsightly vision of a pre-roll ad. Instinctively, I hover my mouse over the “Skip In 5 Seconds” box, focussing my attention on it like a deranged pygmachophobic (someone afraid of boxes – it’s a thing), unable to bear five seconds of the advertisement that paid for this content.
Of course I haven’t considered that, had this ad not been present, I might not have had the ability to watch the video in the first place, lest I have to stomach something much less palatable like ‘Moderately Cute Cocker Spaniel Puppies Getting Splashed With Water’.
Funnily enough, this obsession with consuming online media without being interrupted by advertising is symptomatic of the entire YouTube Generation. Like a participant named Swarovski on MTV’s ‘My Super Sweet Sixteen’ asking for an Audi R8, we want exactly what we haven’t paid for without any questions or we’ll throw a proverbial tantrum and leave immediately.
It’s this attitude that has caused marketers to think more carefully about creating advertisements to capture our collective attention span that lasts as long as each of Kim Kardashian’s nuptials.
Enter Geico. Following in the footsteps of Audi’s “Gone In 5 Seconds” and ASPCA’s “Puppy Electrocution” ads, the US-based insurer has tailored their latest ‘Unskippable’ campaign to combat the world’s aversion to prerolls by producing clever, 5-second ads that reward users for not skipping.
This trend of making ads into snackable content rather than forcing impatient millennials to endure disruption may just be the way of the future with the campaign going viral overnight. Take a look below, and trust me – don’t skip.
You can check out the rest of GEICO’s ‘Unskippable Videos’ HERE.
Jack Cornwell is a Research Assistant at BCM