Everything You Need to Know About YouTube Bumper Ads

The idea of short video ads is nothing new. Since the launch of platforms like Vine and Snapchat, short, easily digestible video content has become a mainstay of successful digital advertising.

But just how short is too short?

In 2016, YouTube launched bumper ads, hedging their bets on the future of short video and furthering their video advertising and distribution reach. And turns out, they were on to something.

Bumper ads are one of the shortest forms of video advertising available, and have been shown to drive a significant lift in brand awareness and ad recall.

Today, we’re breaking down exactly what a bumper ad is and how you can use them to further your marketing goals.

A bumper ad is a six-second video advertisement that plays before, during, or after videos watched on YouTube. Unskippable, these ads are optimized for the mobile experience, catering to users who are browsing videos in short, hurried sessions.


Bumper ads are meant to drive brand reach and frequency. Although six seconds isn’t very long, these short videos do an excellent job extending the reach of your broader advertising, adding to your messaging and helping with brand recall and other top-of-funnel metrics.

Want to learn more about YouTube advertising? Check out our YouTube best practices here.

Though they work on their own, Google recommends using bumper ads in addition to a TrueView campaign. For instance, you might show a regular video ad using TrueView to a first-time viewer, and then show those same viewers a series of bumper ads to keep your brand on their mind.


If possible, aim to create unique, six-second content for your bumper ad campaigns. Though you can break up longer content into six-second snippets, the result is usually an awkward video that doesn’t work as well.

Instead, be creative – the best bumper ads are those that use humor to engage the viewer. Bumper ads are also most effective on millennials (thanks to their adoption of smart devices and their tendency to binge short video content), so think about how your ad engages these viewers and what message you want to send to them.

If you’re nervous about getting started with bumper ads, don’t worry! Brands everywhere continue to experiment with the format, creating some pretty amazing video content in the process.


Check out these six bumper ad examples and take notes – they might spark a little inspiration!


How many times have you tried a youtube link and it didn’t work?

Five seconds is all it takes to get viewers to chuckle at this exact setup for a harmless prank as Chipsmore Malysia encourages us to #takeiteasy. This ad uses two techniques, humor and surprise, to catch us off guard and help us remember the Chipsmore Malaysia name.


This ad proves you don’t need to tell an entire story in the span of six seconds. Samsung uses exciting music, strong branding, and a stronger CTA to introduce their new phone. According to YouTube themselves, this bumper ad topped their leaderboard, leading in organic views, click-throughs, and user creative ratings.


There’s nothing better than showing your product off front and center, especially when you’ve got a product that’s instantly recognizable. Or, show a quick behind-the-scenes moment, one that tells your entire brand story, like this ad does for Krispy Kreme.


This ad tells a story in a single sentence – one that represents exactly what the Airbnb brand stands for. It highlights adventure and that warm feeling you get when you’re on vacation, and also uses a strong CTA at the end to spur user action.

If you can show off your product or service’s ease of use in as little as six seconds, you’ve got a winning formula for a bumper ad. Uber Eats expertly executes this by showcasing how quickly it is to get food delivered to your door with just a simple tap. 


With so few seconds, it may not hurt to use a little shock and awe to help your ad stand out. This ad from SurveyMonkey could have missed the mark, but its shock value perfectly highlights their intended message. Plus, the emotion it elicits does wonders for brand recall.

If you want to step your video advertising game up, don’t wait! We can help you craft the perfect video for YouTube or social media advertising in no time. Just give us a call and we can walk you through the process.

Laura Cueva

Laura Cueva