G4H_Bullet_Cover_Hook them or Lose Them_2

What can you achieve in 10 seconds? Usain Bolt managed to run a 100 meters in 9.81 seconds. Mere mortals may simply be able to tie a shoelace, take a selfie, or send a text. Now, with the advent of the video ad, there’s another challenge – how to hook a viewer’s attention in 10 seconds.

It’s no great secret that as the world becomes increasingly digitized, advertising has shifted from traditional to digital mediums.

No brand with a finite advertising budget is going to want to throw away precious money placing their content on mediums that simply do not attract the numbers they used to.

And videos, specifically videos online are where it’s at these days. YouTube is the second most-used search engine in the world. It also boasts over 1 billion views per day, with an extremely engaged user base. These are impressive numbers, especially when compared to how little TV we are all now watching.

For advertisers, this is tempting indeed. But there’s a catch. Just because people are watching more videos online, does not mean that they love advertising more. And people who are inundated with piles and piles of information every day are also very adept at tuning out anything that is irrelevant or boring to them. If you can’t hook the viewer in the first 10 seconds, then chances are they won’t be watching your entire ad.

So what are some things to keep in mind when creating video ads?

Short is sweet                                                                   

Not only are people’s attention spans super short (8 seconds according to this report) but long ads are a sure-fire way to annoy people who really want to be watching something else.

And no matter how high quality your ad is, people rarely ever stick around for the whole thing.

So to get your message across, get to the point as quickly as possible.

Creating the hook 

A good hook makes a viewer interested in watching a video and makes them feel like they will be rewarded for it. So when crafting your message, do it in such a way that makes it seem like you know something the viewers do not and this piece of information is actually worth knowing, whether it’s how to date better, a punchline of a joke, or a scientific fact.

Decide – are you educating, entertaining or enraging? Who are you talking to and what are they looking for? These are some things to keep in mind, especially for your intro to keep things from getting boring.

Don’t waste

Because you have such a limited time to make an impact, make sure your video is really tight. Don’t waste a single frame on something that is boring or irrelevant to your message.


This 5-second ad does a great job to pull you into its world with attention-grabbing visuals and an epic feel. You’re likely to stop and watch the whole thing because it’s simply harder to look away.

Make it look good

Think about how you watch videos online. Chances are you’ll have the sound turned automatically off, unless you’re alone. Nearly 85 percent of video views happen in silent mode.

So for advertisers, it’s important to make the video look good. Try catchy and bold colours to grab the attention. Try using text in bold, dynamic forms to get your message across without sound. Use interesting angles and filmic devices to keep things interesting.

Lastly, do keep track of how each ad is doing and stick to testing one new variable at a time to see what works best. And always, always, remember your brand truth- there’s no story more compelling than a true story.

 Are you jumping on the video bandwagon?

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How would your brand participate in the golden age of the geek?

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