We have all been subjected to those annoying pre-roll ads on YouTube. The only thing you pay attention to is the ticker at the bottom right-hand corner telling you when you can skip it. It's no wonder so many of us get annoyed when we only want to watch a 30 second video, and creating an ad that makes you want to watch it in its entirety is difficult.
But it's surprising that nobody has even considered creating an ad that's only five seconds long, or gets the message across in that time. VML did and used this knowledge to create a fantastic YouTube campaign for The Australian Federal Police.
Through clever use of geotargeting, its ads would show you people who went missing in your area and ask if you've seen them. The 'skip ad' button was replaced by a 'Yes' or 'No' button which allowed you to report or skip the ad. A brilliant idea that got 1.2 million views in five days.
The Missing Person Pre-Roll from VML on Vimeo.