“I got the cutest cat video to show you! Hold on, I’ll load it up. Okay, just after this 30-second YouTube ad. Man, why can’t I skip this? Crap! Wrong cat video! Oh, that’s the one! Click on that link! ARE YOU SERIOUS ANOTHER AD!? WHERE IS THE SKIP BUTTON? YOUTUBE, YOU’RE DESTROYING MY LIFE!”
That was a short monologue I wrote – appropriately named “Unskippable”, that I performed during my one-man act tour called ‘Modern Day Pains’ (not really). But it does ring familiar doesn’t it? Probably feel the angst growing slightly within you?
YouTube recently started airing ads before your desired FAIL videos, movie trailers and dubstep dance-offs that don’t usually last very long and even if they did, the audience always has the option to skip said ad. They are quite limited and very repetitive, but we learn to live and deal with it.
However, as of late, YouTube have decided to take it one step further in online advertising and in the art of annoying their users. Now, as an advertiser, you can pay a little bit more and have your commercial shown more frequently – and take away the option to disregard the ad! The outcome? A 30-second long ad for a 16-second baby laugh video that you can’t skip, which in turn caused a huge uproar in the social media scene as well as dedicated blogs:
‘It is ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS!!!! That I have to watch a 30 second advertisement before every video’
‘Someone needs to do something about this. It is completely ruining the YouTube experience.’
As much as this is a clear indication of our ever-decreasing attention span and patience as a consumer, this opens a bigger can of worms as a whole; you can’t force yourself on the consumer! Drawing parallels to how you can’t force people to ‘Like’ your brand on Facebook or re-Tweet a promotion you are having – as a brand you have to give your consumer a choice and free-will too.
Knowing that they had an option or say in wanting to see that funny ad of yours, or visit your store, is much more worthwhile than asserting your brand name after every turn. If views and likes is what you’re looking for, then create smarter, wittier, funnier, more emotional or harder-hitting ads that will wow the audience, drawing them back over and over again and not hitting them over the head with your mundanely scripted lines.
A gentler touch is needed and by speaking to your audience like a normal human being and not bombarding them with spam-like messages after every click, you will inadvertently create bonds that are deeper and more meaningful – and not get the impatient ‘sigh’ from potential consumers every time your name appears.
Is your brand being too forceful?
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