In the nearly two years since we launched six-second bumper ads, we’ve seen that big creative ideas can come to life in the smallest of spaces. The world’s most creative minds have tested the limits of building evocative work in six seconds—and the ad community’s enthusiasm has spread beyond YouTube, as bumpers now regularly appear on TV and other digital platforms.
At Sundance this week, we’ll continue spurring on this creative revolution and unveil this year’s six-second challenge. We enlisted some of the brightest minds in creativity, film, and storytelling to draw inspiration from a timeless story, like Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Pinocchio, or Snow White. These tales have survived as fables, story books, animated movies, live-action films based on animated movies, and hit songs. Will they survive as six-second stories?
Amid the indie films, documentaries, and star sightings, there will be a handful of top creative agencies from all over the world contributing to this year’s six-second challenge—showing how the way we tell stories continues to evolve through different themes, voices, and media.
The agency interpretations of these stories cover a broad range of imagination and creativity, and demonstrate how much focus, emotion, and complexity can fit into a six-second format. They also show how just six seconds can trigger the desire to see much more. The following short films showcase the diversity of storytelling on display at Sundance, and we hope they inspire you to explore the power, possibility, and impact of short-form storytelling.
Agency: BBH London
Story Inspired By: The Ugly Duckling
Agency: BBH China X Eagle Media
Story Inspired By: Hansel & Gretel
Agency: Energy BBDO
Story Inspired By: Three Little Pigs
Agency: Grey New York
Story Inspired By: Little Red Riding Hood
Agency: Hecho En 72
Story Inspired By: Puss in Boots
Agency: J. Walter Thompson New York
Story Inspired By: Beauty & the Beast
Agency: Ogilvy UK
Story Inspired By: Rapunzel
Agency: 72andSunny Sydney
Story Inspired By: Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Story Inspired By: Cinderella
Agency: The Richards Group
Story Inspired By: Rumpelstiltskin
Agency: Ogilvy India
Agency: Publicis New York
Story: Snow White
Posted by Sadie Thoma, Head of Creative Agency Development, Google
In partnership with The Webby Awards, we selected 30 of the most iconic ads on YouTube from 2017 based on this year’s YouTube Ads Leaderboard. Then, you voted for your favorites across six categories covering all kinds of ads. And now, the results are in. Six winners of #TheYouTubeAd of 2017 contest have proven themselves as the most loved ads on YouTube, and we’re thrilled to share them with you:
Category: #TheYouTubeAd That Goes Straight To The Heart
No, you’re crying—these tears are just allergies. Yeah, sure. Vote for the ad that really moved you. Winner: Following, Neighborhood of Good | State Farm Insurance | DDB
Category: #TheYouTubeAd That’s Your Guilty Pleasure
Cats. Cooking shows. Unboxing. We all have our favorite distractions. Vote for the one you secretly love.
Winner: Hay Day 360 Hug | Supercell | Barton F. Graf
Category: #TheYouTubeAd That Puts Stars In Your Eyes
Who doesn’t love a good celebrity cameo? Vote for the best star-studded spot.
Winner: “Hero’s Journey” Starring Melissa McCarthy | Kia Motors | David & Goliath | Horizon / Canvas Worldwide
Category: #TheYouTubeAd That Knows No Limits
Get inspired, seize the moment—and vote for the ad that made you live for today.
Winner: Clash of Clans : How Do We Get Over There? (Update Teaser) | Supercell | Barton F. Graf
Category: #TheYouTubeAd That Takes A Stand
Ads can be a powerful voice for change. Vote for the one that moves you to work for a better tomorrow.
Winner: The Story of Lucy | Windex | Energy BBDO | PHD
Category: #TheYouTubeAd That Has Six Appeal
It doesn’t take long to grab our attention. Vote for the six-second spot that makes a big impact.
Winner: Dina Tokio Tube Makeup Teaser | Revlon UK | Mediacom
From combating climate change, to countering xenophobia and extremism, we’ve all witnessed the power of video to spark a dialogue, inspire action and change minds. It’s true for all of us, but perhaps even more so for a generation of young people that grew up alongside YouTube: Gen Z. In a new study, nearly half of Gen Z said they can’t live without YouTube.1
And Gen Z isn’t just tuned in -- they’re fired up. Gen Z are 50% more likely to care about making an impact on the world with their work than their millennial counterparts did at the same age.2 That’s why Google is thrilled to join forces with Common Ground and the United Nations for The Common Future Project. The partnership brings together talent from the world’s largest advertising communication groups to use their creativity to mobilize a generation of young people around the global Sustainable Development Goals. These 17 goals represent a common set of interconnected ambitions for a transformed world adopted by the UN in 2015 -- like ending poverty and hunger, improving gender equality and reducing inequalities.
Over a three-day period, teams from Dentsu Aegis Network, Havas, IPG, Omnicom, Publicis and WPP, as well as independant agency Wieden+Kennedy, worked together at the YouTube Space NY to develop big ideas that would tap into the cultural influence and power of video to be a force of social good in the world.
On the final day, the teams had three hours to shoot, produce and edit rough videos in formats that reflect how Gen Z communicates, like YouTube’s new made-for-mobile :06 bumper ads. Each team pitched their campaign ideas to a panel of experts that included UN SDG Advocate Alaa Murabit; Jake Horowitz, Co-founder, Mic.com; Madonna Badger, Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Badger & Winters; and Golriz Lucina, Head of Creative for SoulPancake.
A virtual, cross-agency team will develop the winning idea further to launch later this year on YouTube. To support and amplify the campaign, we are committing media to run the campaign globally.
Take a look at how it all unfolded:
“The Sustainable Development Agenda is the most ambitious anti-poverty, pro-planet agenda ever adopted by the UN. The Common Future Project recognizes the power of young people as global agents of change. I commend the Common Ground partners for this creative effort to transform the video platforms that young people use into platforms for action for a world of peace and dignity for all” says UN Deputy Secretary General Ms. Amina Mohammed.
YouTube shapes culture not just because millions of people watch a billion hours of video every day, but because it’s a place where anyone can use their voice to generate positive social change. We’re thrilled to be able to shine a spotlight on the great collaboration of these agencies coming together for the common good.
Torrence Boone, VP, Global Agency Sales and Services
1 Defy Media Acumen Survey, March 2017. 2 Defy Media Acumen Survey, March 2017.
This wasn’t any ordinary hack; the brief challenged the next generation of creative talent to tell a story to their future selves. But there was a twist. They had to tell this larger-than-life story using a bite-sized format, YouTube’s :06 bumper ad format. Each entry had to include three :06 films to bring their ideas to life.
YouTube introduced the :06 format last year to help advertisers capture attention in today’s mobile world. Bumpers have shown significant impact when it comes to brand metrics like ad recall1, but creatives wanted to put it to the test to see if six seconds could indeed tell meaningful and emotional stories. So we asked creatives and filmmakers to create for the format at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and SXSW, and they illustrated that bumpers were an untapped creative canvas.
But it was time to give the young guns a crack at it. The Cannes Lions jury carefully reviewed the submissions, which included a wide variety of creative interpretations of the brief, furthering the notion that six seconds is limitless when it comes to storytelling. However, the 2 sets of films that stood out to the jury offered sage advice to the future creatives these youngsters aspire to be. “For me, the best ones were from the creatives who shared a message that extrapolates their own ego, but draws attention to something bigger like giving value to people and the planet, for example,” said Yuri Mussoly, one of the jury members and Digital Creative Director at Africa. “For me, this is the future of advertising.”
That theme was clear throughout the films from Vittorio Perotti of Italy, which were a simple testament to not forget important values as his career progresses. The films, appropriately named “Slap Yourself Now,” highlight the importance of relationships, career and ethics and the necessity to not forget one’s values regardless of success. Perotti explained that “the brief made me think about what I want to be in the future and what I should not forget. I'm afraid to lose some important values in life because people often ignore them when they grow up. If I did the same, I would slap myself.”
"Slap Yourself Now" by Vittorio Perotti, Designer & Art Director, Sagmeister & Walsh, Italy
The submission from Lance Francisco of the Philippines played on the daily demands that creatives are often faced with and flipped them into a positive mantra to remind him why he set out to be a creative in the first place. “By unlearning these learnings, we can get back to the core of creating again,” said Francisco. And going back to basics is exactly what creating for 6 seconds challenged the young creative to do. “Six seconds forces you to be strikingly simple. It is just enough time for you to give out a clear message and forces you to find a clever way to communicate the message.”
"Untitled" by Lance Christoper C. Francisco, Art Director, Publicis Jimenezbasic, Philippines
“The two winners stood out for avoiding clichés and for delivering on the brief with punchy typographically driven pieces,” said Chris Clarke, Young Lions juror and Deputy Creative Officer at The Guardian. Perotti and Francisco will will get to heed their advice at Cannes Lions this year as they compete as a team in the Young Lions Film Competition. The winning Bumper Hack films, along with many of the other submissions will be featured at the YouTube Beach during the Festival.
While Perotti’s and Francisco’s films took the grand prize, all of the submissions showed the breadth of creativity that six seconds can offer. Take a look at a few other favorites as we applaud these young creatives and their approach to bite-sized creativity.
"Duck" by Ashley Wilding, Copywriter, CHE Proximity Sydney, Australia
“Brevity Can Stir Your Imagination” by Yukina Oshibe, I&S BBDO, Japan
"Start Today" by Tristan Viney, Copywriter & Seamus Fagan, Art Director, Ogilvy, Australia
As the world gravitates toward mobile content, creatives will be challenged with telling big stories through condensed formats. The creative revolution has only just begun; who’s in?
Posted by Noël Paasch, Marketing Manager, Agency Marketing, YouTube
1 In a study of over 600 campaigns, 9 in 10 bumper ads measured globally drove a significant increase in ad recall. Across all campaigns measured, average increase was 38%. (Source: YouTube Internal Data, Global, July 2016)↩
When two creative teams from the U.S. arrived in Singapore last month, they knew they’d be facing stiff competition and absurd deadlines. The teams from Deutsch and Grey had just flown halfway across the world to take part in the inaugural YouTube Creative Hack competition as part of Spikes Asia.
Spikes Asia is a yearly event comparable to Cannes Lions that brings together 2,000+ industry leaders from 26 countries to celebrate creative excellence across the Asia Pacific region. This year, the conference focused on YouTube, celebrating the most creative and innovative campaigns on the platform.
Creativity was on display throughout the conference’s keynotes and award presentations—never more so than during the YouTube Creative Hack competition sponsored by YouTube and Young Spikes. Fourteen teams of young creatives came together from across Southeast Asia, Japan, India, and the U.S. for some friendly competition.
The structure was simple: Teams of two had to concept, write, and produce a mini ad campaign in just seven hours. They would create three ads to fit YouTube’s new six-second bumper ad format, all using existing long-form video assets from a brand whose name, objectives, and target audiences were kept secret until the competition briefing session.
Right before the clock started, the client was revealed: the Singapore Tourism Board. In just seven hours, all 14 teams, including the jetlagged U.S. duos, had to present their ads to a panel of expert judges who would determine the winners.
Neither of the teams from the U.S. had ever been to Asia, and now they had to create ads convincing people to come visit Singapore.
The team from Deutsch based their ads on the insight that millennials like to show off to their friends when they’re having a great time. “We started concepting around this feeling of travel envy—that jealousy you feel when looking at pictures and videos from your friends’ awesome vacations. We all hate those friends. That shared hatred/jealousy led us to the line, ‘Singapore. You can be mad, or you can be here,’” shared Andrew Kong, copywriter at Deutsch. Kong and his partner, Curtis Petraglia, art director were able to turn this simple insight into a fun and polished six-second ad, which showcased fun things to do in Singapore while getting the message across quickly.
Alternatively, Grey used the fact that this was their first time in Asia to land on a simple insight: Singapore is very similar to some of the world’s other big cities like New York, London, and Los Angeles, but with particular advantages. “The creative hack was a fun challenge that forced us to trust our guts and whittle down the ads to the core insight," said Will Gardner, art director at Grey. Their scrappy campaign portrayed that simple message through clever supers and playful iconography. The six-second ads were designed to target users by home country.
The results? The teams snagged first and second place, making the Creative Hack a huge success for the U.S. teams. Despite the challenges a new country and new ad format presented, the team from Deutsch won the jury over, taking top honors unanimously. The Grey campaign also impressed the judges, with its relatable and dexterous execution, earning the team the second place honors. "Initially, we had no idea what to expect from bumpers and this opportunity showed us the possibilities of being creative within constraints. We're excited to expand on the experience and take what we learned back to our teams,” said Robert Jencks, designer and junior art director at Grey.
Leaning into the creative constraints of the six-second bumper ad format helped the U.S. teams transcend language barriers and local nuances. Having just six seconds to play with meant the teams had to focus their creativity and create pithy ads rooted in simple human truths. Regardless of platform, audience, country, brand, or time limit, that’s the kind of creativity that will always win. Posted by Noël Paasch, Agency Marketing Manager, YouTube