Creative Inspiration, Just In Time For Cannes Lions

At Cannes Lions this week, thousands of creatives are gathering to discuss innovative storytelling, ad technology, and the future of the marketing industry. Whether you’re there or just following along from home (#CannesLions), the latest pieces on Think with Google can get your creative juices flowing.

Here’s the big question we’ve been trying to answer for creative marketers: In the age of the skip button, how can we make ads unskippable? On YouTube, advertisers need to grab a viewer’s attention instantly—and then hold it after the first five seconds. With our new research, we tried to find out just how to do that. While there is no exact formula, we found that science could tell us quite a bit about engaging video advertising.

For our Unskippable Labs experiment, we tested 3 cuts of the same ad to see which version got the best reaction on smartphones. This experiment helped us uncover some key insights about what creative works on mobile. One particularly interesting learning: shorter doesn’t necessarily mean better. The longest ad in our study (93 seconds) received the highest view-through rate.

For a more macro approach, our latest YouTube Insights piece looked at thousands of ads across 16 countries and 11 verticals, to try and find out what creative elements are associated with how long viewers watch (and how much they remember). The little things—like where you put your brand logo, and what tone you take in the first 5 seconds—can go a long way in helping viewership, brand awareness, and ad recall.

Looking for some examples of attention-grabbing ads? The Cannes to Cannes YouTube Ads Leaderboard recaps the top 10 videos since last year’s festival! And for even more big ideas and creative inspiration, be sure to check out our brand new Creative hub on Think with Google.