2019 Marketing Trends — Snack Ads

Image for post
Image for post

Did you know that the average attention span has dropped from… wait where’s my coffee… . whoops, sorry for the distraction — let’s continue.

Did you know that the average human attention span is now just 8 seconds, which is lower than the 9-second attention span of a goldfish?

That’s right! According to an article published by Time Magazine, we used to be able to concentrate for 12 seconds in 2000 but this has dropped by a whopping 4 seconds. With regards to an explanation, it’s thought that the constant tech-based distractions we face on a day-to-day basis are having an impact. Essentially, with so much information at our disposal, we find it hard nowadays to focus on one thing for a decent period of time.

Hold on Insta notification. Ok let’s continue.

Poor Concentration and Content Marketing

So, if you’re developing plans to market your brand, you need to find innovative ways to communicate your message before completely losing the attention of your audience. While people do invest time reading content that’s highly relevant to them, many have very little patience for everyday ads with millennials deeply distrusting banner ads. We’ve already trained our eyes to avoid ads while reading something online and we’ve got used to pressing the “skip ad” button on YouTube videos without consciously deciding whether we’d like to view the ad.

These developments have led marketeers to create much shorter versions of video ads, which have come to be known as snack ads.

Image for post
Image for post

More Than Your Favorite Pack of Wafers

Snack ads aren’t about your favorite wafers, jerky or yogurt. These are videos that are shorter than 10 seconds. The reason marketeers feel the need for such short ads is because of a vicious cycle. Audiences are bombarded with video content, which has resulted in a decline in attention spans. And, this has led to the need for shorter ads.

The trend of 6-second commercials began with YouTube and was soon adopted by the Fox Networks Group. Also known as bumper ads, snack ads have caught on with some of the biggest brands.

Image for post
Image for post

Samsung’s snack ad grabbed the #1 rank on YouTube’s first bumper ad leaderboard published in September 2017

Can Snack Ads Add Value to Your Marketing Campaign?

With intensifying competition, more companies are using snack ads to interest their consumers and minimise disruption to other activities, like watching a movie online. Snack ads are becoming an important component of a comprehensive and powerful marketing campaign and help to:

Attract a Younger Audience

Brands need to be aware of the platforms being frequented by their target audience and adapt their ad strategy accordingly. Brands that wish to target a younger audience need to be instantly impactful and memorable, and snack ads have helped with this.

Take the example of Corona, which build brand awareness through long advertisements on TV. It is a brand associated with having fun with friends, spending leisurely time on the beach, travelling and living a carefree life. Most young people can relate to this. Corona found success with its 6-second “Splash Jump” advertisement, which became popular among the younger generation, conveying the message of carefree fun within such a short span of time. The ad has breathtaking visuals with and an adventurous vibe, not focusing just on the beer but the experience.

Image for post
Image for post

Using snack ads on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and other such platforms has helped brands engage with millennial consumers.

Enhance Multi-Channel Marketing

Longer TV ads can be segmented or repurposed into snack ads for social media platforms. This allows companies to have multiple engagement points with potential customers.

Under Armour’s “It Comes from Below” campaign covered multiple sports and featured athletes like Stephen Curry, Bryce Harper and Cam Newton. These ads were repurposed into snack ads for Instagram. Taking short form ads to the next level, Under Armour decided to produce a 3-second ad every time Steph Curry hit a three in the NBA playoffs in 2017.

If your brand has long-form ads, these can be analysed and some of the content can be repurposed into a series of snack ads. This will help you brand to enhance its outreach without having to spend money on new concepts and ad production.

Cut a Long Story Short

It’s definitely more challenging to convey a message in under 10 seconds. But snack ads help companies to focus on the most important aspects of their business and use crisp, impactful communication styles. Include a call to action and you’ll hopefully get the leads you need.

Create Interest

Curiosity can generate interest for a brand and this can be effectively achieved through snack ads. Take the example of the KFC Unboxing campaign for the Malaysian market. This was comprised of a series of snack ads and teasers which finally revealed the new item on the menu.

Some Useful Tips on Creating Snack Ads to Promote Your Brand

Videos are the preferred mode of marketing now. But isn’t 6 seconds too short? How can a message be conveyed in such a short span of time? Here’s a look at how snack ads can be best used for successfully conveying your brand’s values and messages.


You cannot possibly convey more than one message or one attribute of your product in 6 seconds. So, a great deal of brainstorming is required to identify that one marketing angle that will help you stand out from the crowd. Let’s look at Duracell’s 6-second ad.

Image for post
Image for post

The ad shows the iconic copper-top of the Duracell batteries and conveys a message of trust.

Who’s Listening?

Audio and visuals combine to make your ad more impactful, right? But consider this. As many as 85% of Facebook users watch videos without sound, says a blog post by American Press Institute. So, if your snack ad relies purely on sounds to convey the message, it runs the risk of failing. Use subtitles to ensure your message reaches the end user.

Try Different Techniques

You could try text-only ads, animation ads and ads that show real people. You could even use a slideshow of images. Different angles and frames can be used. Don’t stop at one ad, because these 6-second ads leave you with enough budget to create multiple ads with different formats.

Design for Mobile

You’re targeting the millennials or Gen Z and your snack ads will be playing on social media sites. So, there’s a much greater chance that your snack ad will be viewed on a smartphone, rather than a laptop. When you create the ad, avoid making the text or images too small. Have a mobile first design and consider the popular dimensions and aspect ratios.

Snack ads need to compliment your overall marketing strategy. These ads are not just more cost effective, but also provide freshness to your brands. So, make every second count!

Wish to enhance your brand’s outreach and engage with your audience on various platforms? Contact the Contentworks team today.

Contentworks is a content marketing agency that's all about telling your story and achieving your goals. Unless you want to climb Everest.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store