5 second ads

Youtube’s advertising is spot on. I will happily sit through 5 seconds ads before pumping the ‘skip ad’ button like I’m playing an 80’s arcade game to watch a video. I’m sure Youtube must have researched the tolerance of their users and come up with the figure of 5 seconds as the precise amount of time they’re prepared to endure before their video starts. No more, no less.

Radio stations are working to the same formula with their traffic reports? A 5 second ad for ‘Beds For Backs’, in exchange for avoiding traffic jam on the Eastern Freeway, Seems like a reasonable exchange.

Gamers are familiar with the standard too. I bought an IPad game the other day (free version of course) and every time I crash out, a window pops up with a World Of Warcraft ad that interrupts my game but I can close the window and get back to the main menu in under 5 seconds which I’m happy with. (Seeing how fast I can dismiss the advertisement has become a game within itself).

It’s no wonder the TV networks are suffering. What are they thinking? We’re not going to sit through 5 minutes of ads in this day and age. Have you ever tried to watch something on their ‘catch up’ websites? Even online, their shows are littered with 30 second ads which are unskippable! You’d have to be pretty desperate to sit through a 30 second ad before you can watch your video. It’s time enough to ponder your very existence. Only the very best videos can survive this test. If this is Free To Air TV’s blueprint, perhaps Alan Partridge was right when he said ‘Terrestrial TV is a dead duck, and who watches a dead duck? Not even its mother, she just flies off depressed’.

We will look elsewhere for our entertainment, news and sport. I mostly watch Foxtel. They have ads on Foxtel but I have no idea why when everyone just uses their IQ to fast forward them anyway. Why would we sit through ads when we don’t have to?

Our message to advertisers is clear: We understand why you need to be there but you’ve got 5 seconds and counting to say what you need to say and then get out.

Are you happy to endure 5 second advertising for free content? Leave a comment below…


  1. Kate

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