Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

You have the first 5 seconds of this ad to grab your target market’s attention. How can you achieve that? [Thursdays: FYO!]

October 7, 2021

Video is one of the most heavily consumed content on the Internet. In fact, a lot of online activities involve watching audiovisual clips. 

According to HubSpot’s 2020 Annual State of Marketing report, about 55% of people watch online videos every day. 

… and as of 2021, software company Invideo reports that an average person spends around 100 minutes per day watching such content. 

This makes online video marketing an integral part of any brand’s digital marketing strategy! 

Let’s talk about one of the platforms where video is consumed online:


In our past “Find You Optimization!” articles, we discussed the different ad formats that business owners and marketers like you could use to advertise your brand. We also talked about YouTube’s TrueView Ads, which could be in the form of In-Stream Ads or Discovery Ads. 

Let’s now dive deeper into another one of YouTube’s ad formats: 

Pre-Roll Ads! 

While you might think of these ads as those that only appear before a video you’d like to watch on YouTube, the reality is Pre-Roll ads are more than that. 

Similar to TrueView ads, Pre-Roll ads are skippable advertisements and can play before, in between, or after a video. These ads are usually 15 to 20 seconds long and are often seen in videos that are 8 minutes or more in length. 

Like many types of advertisements, Pre-Roll ads can end up annoying online users if misused. However, if you execute this format well, it could help you provide an interesting, helpful, or entertaining break for viewers. 

Here are some of the main uses of YouTube’s Pre-Roll ads: 

  • Raising awareness about a brand’s new product, service, or campaign.
  • Driving more traffic to a business’ website. 
  • Generating leads for a brand. 

What are some benefits of using this ad format? 

Pre-Roll ads are easy to manage along with your other Google Ads. Plus, you may also use these videos to reach your target market by: 

  • Location
  • Demographics
  • Language
  • Keywords
  • Topic
  • Interest

These make Pre-Roll ads an effective way to reach consumers because you basically choose where you want your ads to appear, how much you’re willing to pay, and who you want to interact with through your ads. 

Another thing: This ad format is effective on mobile devices

According to app marketing firm Liftoff, the average click-through rate (CTR) of Pre-Roll ads on mobile devices is 7.5 times higher than that of ordinary display ads. 

So, if you plan to include pre-rolls in your digital marketing strategy list, make sure you create high-quality videos and provide value in your content. These will help capture your target market’s attention and compel them to spare a few seconds of their time to watch your ads. 

Let’s take a look at one brand that used YouTube’s Pre-Roll ads effectively… 


Mokka X is a subcompact crossover SUV brand sold by German automotive company Opel since 2012. 

In 2015, the brand interacted with YouTube users by using Pre-Roll ads as metaphor to real obstacles on the road. 

Just a quick background regarding this strategy… 

According to a representative from Mokka, most of the time, online users only look at the “Skip Ad” button to see how long they need to wait to skip a Pre-Roll ad. 

To make sure that didn’t happen with its promotional videos, Mokka X created the “SKIPTEST” ads, which highlighted the vehicle’s features that could help drivers deal with obstacles they can’t avoid on the road. 

… and since these were only shown on video, the marketing team used the “Skip Ad” button to represent the real-life road obstacles. 

The brand created a series of pre-rolls that showed the car avoiding the “Skip Ad” button by driving over it, swerving around it, and even crashing into it. 

The best part about these ads? 

Even though each video was 15 seconds long, Mokka X’s interaction with the button happened within the first 5 seconds! This meant that even if users skipped the ads, the brand’s message was still delivered completely. 

Here are the results of Mokka X’s Pre-Roll ads: 

One week after the launch of the ads on YouTube, the brand recorded a viewership rate of 2.5 million views per video ad and Mokka X’s website traffic increased by 20%. 

The brand’s click-through rate also improved as 18% of those who saw the ads decided to watch until the end and click on the post-click landing page. 

See? If Mokka X was able to use Pre-Roll ads effectively and gain positive results by doing that, then there’s no reason for you not to give this ad format a shot! 

Just take note of the to-do’s in creating a compelling Pre-Roll ad, such as: 

  • Creating attention-grabbing content in the first 5 seconds of the ad. 
  • Mastering targeting and retargeting ads. 
  • Including a corresponding post-click landing page in your ad. 

These guidelines will help you achieve your digital marketing goals and reach your target market in one of the most widely used social media platforms, YouTube! 

One more thing: Just because these ads are naturally short in duration and are often skipped by viewers, that doesn’t mean less effort goes into creating them. Knowing that these ads are short and often skipped is what should actually give you motivation to make them awesome.

Encourage your target market to keep watching your ads by providing value in your content! 

Who knows? This might be the hook you need to capture a lot of online users’ attention, keep them entertained, and even compel them to convert into your loyal customers. 

So… what are you waiting for? 

Give YouTube’s Pre-Roll ads a shot and make your brand memorable, engaging, and entertaining! 

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Thursdays: FYO! Find You Optimization”

Why should you stop thinking SEO and start thinking FYO?

We’re not saying that you should abandon Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Don’t get us wrong, of course, we know this is something very important, especially in today’s digital marketing age.

The internet landscape is vast, and a world of its own. You really need to distinguish yourself and make your brand/company/website known and easily searchable.

Better yet, get to the top of page one for Top Results on Google or any other search engine.

However, what is the purpose of SEO? It’s that customers Find You!

That’s what matters. So, while SEO is one factor of FYO… it really is only one, and we ought not to abandon all the myriad of ways digitally and offline for improving your FYO.

How can we look at this from a different and better perspective?

Let’s say you have it in the bag! You and your team are experts in SEO. Awesome. But did you ever wonder what else you could do to push it further and give your SEO skills a boost?

FYO! Find You Optimization!

You need your target audience to FIND YOU—your brand, product, service, or offer. This is SEO plus other tools that increase visibility online (and offline).

Every Thursday, we publish content on how you can get your target market to find you, beyond the typical “type and search.” There are other things you can do along with your SEO to give your online advertising process a boost.

Try considering other tactics beyond it—WOMO (Word Of Mouth Optimization), RO (Referral Optimization), and “All-Other-Means-Of-Getting-Your-Target-Market-To-Find-You” Optimization (AOMOGYTMTFY, if you’d like a long acronym). 

Part of a great marketing strategy is knowing how to adapt new methods and make use of different types of marketing and promotion that best fit your business goals and which give you the results you want.

Hope you’ve found this week’s insights interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Thursday’s FYO!


Kyle Yu
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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