Toyota’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it ad

The Association of Quebec Toyota Dealers is playing with YouTube’s the "skip ad" button in its new super-short ad.
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Rather than try to cram in as many facts, special features and offers as it can before the “skip ad” button appears, the Association of Quebec Toyota Dealers has made an unskippable 4.9-second spot that plays with its YouTube format.

The spot  features the Toyota Yaris, the driver of which quickly parks and rushes over to tap the “Skip Ad” button on the YouTube display.

The ad targets that model’s core audience of adults from their late 20s to late 30s. Media and creative for the spot was done by the association’s agency, Bleublancrouge.

This isn’t the first time the association has tapped into the insight that people don’t like pre-roll ads online, said Charles Beaulieu, director, digital media and programmatic, Bleublancrouge. Last fall the agency used the idea that many young people still ask their parents for rides, and included a dad that dove into cringe-worthy conversation topics. The pre-roll spots then asked if the user wanted to “Skip Dad.” It was the association’s top-performing digital ad campaign for the year, he said. The promotion included a 30- and 45-second version of the spot, and Beaulieu said that skip rates didn’t go up for the longer version of the ad.

For the new spot, Beaulieu said the agency and client wanted something that was “surprising and quick.” The spot plays with YouTube’s unskippable bumper ad format, which requires that spots be no longer than six-seconds long. According to results from Google presented at YouTube’s upfront in June, nine in 10 bumper ads drove ad recall, with an average lift of 38%. Across all campaigns measured globally, average lift was 9%.

“Car ads are usually the same, and rarely fun,” he said. “We wanted something to be more fun. Something fun and engaging to talk with a different audience.”

In addition to being seen all the way though, the shorter ads are also a lot more cost-efficient than longer YouTube spots, said Beaulieu. The goal of the spot is to drive awareness around the Yaris, which isn’t as well-known as some other Toyota models in the market. All of the spots for the Association of Quebec Toyota Dealers are created with the goal of driving viewers to the dealers.

The 4.9-second ad will be online through the fall and is part of an ongoing campaign that’s in market for the Association of Quebec Toyota Dealers.