Cannes Lions: Fox Adopting YouTube's Six-Second Ad Format

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"This is the first time that a broadcast television company has committed to the ad format, which YouTube introduced last year," the companies said.

21st Century Fox's Fox Networks Group and Google's YouTube on Tuesday unveiled at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity that Fox will be adopting the online giant's six-second ad format.

The short, non-skippable video ads will be deployed first across FNG’s digital on-demand properties and eventually on linear television, they said.

"This is the first time that a broadcast television company has committed to the ad format, which YouTube introduced last year," the companies said. They said the six-second format "strikes a balance between appreciable brand lift and optimal user experience" as more consumers watch premium video content on the go. 

“One of our biggest priorities at Fox Networks Group is figuring out the best way for a brand to reach a consumer that captures the right kind of attention and serves its precise KPIs,” said David Levy, executive vp nonlinear revenue at Fox Networks Group. “We’re excited to deploy this new format, which will be a welcome addition to our Advanced Ad Products portfolio.”

FNG said it has been working to improve the viewer experience of watching television across all platforms through reduced ad loads, technology and data. "The new six-second ad format complements FNG’s growing suite of advanced ad products," it said.

When YouTube launched the so-called bumper ads last year, it said it had been exploring formats that are better suited for smartphone video watchers. In an early use of the format, Atlantic Records promoted the second album from the band Rudimental with short ads, with each highlighting one of the guest musicians on the album.

Tara Walpert Levy, vp agency and media solutions at Google and YouTube, added: “We are excited to see Fox embracing six seconds as a valuable ad format for a cross-device world. Since we piloted this format last fall, we’ve seen on YouTube that six seconds is both long enough and short enough – it’s great for on-the-go users who appreciate the succinct message, for creatives who appreciate the constraint, and for brands who value the consistent results."

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