All too often, YouTube ads are not tailored to pre-roll- meaning that viewers are likely to skip because they are given little incentive to continue watching. This funny new ad series from US car insurance firm Geico generated 725,000 unaided YouTube views in one day by playing on the format. See why it’s our video viral of the week below…
YouTube pre-roll ads often neglect the first ‘unskippable’ 5 seconds of the video, meaning they fail to hook people before they get a chance to press the skip button.
Geico understands this, and this new series from The Martin Agency really puts the emphasis on those first five seconds in a humorous way that mimics the classic ‘Police Squad’ end credits sight gags of old.
The first ad, “Family,” has logged more than 725,000 unaided YouTube views in one day. It features a dog — a Saint Bernard mix — that utterly takes over the ad. The ad begins with a family at the dinner table. An off-screen narrator notes, “You can’t skip this Geico ad because it’s already over.”
Then, the Geico logo appears and the frame appears to freeze along with the four actors at the dinner table — mother, father, daughter and son. The giant logo that typically signals the end of the commercial, however, actually signals the beginning of this one. And it stays on the screen until the bitter end.
Even as the family desperately tries to remain frozen mimes, the dog awkwardly leaps up on the table and eats its way through the next 45 seconds of the commercial.
“We call these unskippable,” says Joe Alexander, chief creative officer at The Martin Agency, which has also created three other mock freeze-frame Geico spots besides this one. “Our goal is to bring attention to Geico in a space that is often hated.”
For viewers, it feels like must-see TV because folks can’t help but wonder who is going to crack a smile — or what the dog will do next.
The ad series features 3 more ‘unskippable’ ads, featured below: