You only have 5 seconds . . .

5 seconds. The amount of time it takes to decide whether you actually care enough about a product to engage in the advertisement. Well, at least that is what YouTube thinks. Regardless of whether it is right or not, that is the exact amount of time advertisers now have to hook consumers!


There is no doubt that we have wasted a lot of time counting down the obligatory 5 seconds before you can skip and advert on YouTube and watch the video that you selected. And don’t even get me started on the compulsory 15 second adverts. Especially when it is a video you aren’t that desperate to watch, is it even worth waiting . . . ?

Regardless, from the advertiser’s point of view, they now have 5 seconds to convince you not to hit that ‘Skip Ad’ button. And that is a pretty difficult job to do in such a short time!

But there was one advert recently which actually convinced me. Check out this new Samsung advert and after the first 5 seconds contemplate whether you would click the ‘Skip Ad’ button.

There was one reason that I didn’t click the skip button.

It reminded me of Friends.

Okay, there was a little more to it than that, but that was one of the main factors why I didn’t skip it. There was a scene in an episode of Friends where the six lead members are sitting around a table and the doorbell rings. While this may seem rather simple and boring, the first question that strikes you is ‘Who the hell is at the door when everyone who would be ringing the doorbell is inside?’.

And it was that suspense which hooked me in this Samsung advertisement. I was struck by the need to know who was behind the door when there appeared to be a close-knit group eating dinner inside.

I am sure that you have all experienced this same curiosity as well in your own lives.

Whenever the doorbell rings during dinner and we know it is going to be a telemarketer but we have to check anyway. Sound familiar?

So entertainment market, listen up. Don’t open your advertisements with ‘Winner of 5 Tony Awards’, I know that I have no hesitation in skipping the movies that come out with that opening line. Create a feeling of suspense that draws people in and makes them need to know the outcome of the advert. Then feel free to follow up with how many awards you have won, but you need to hook people first!

This advertisement is so successful because it doesn’t appear to be selling anything in the first 5 seconds and the audience is overwhelmed with the need to know who is behind that door. Well, that is my opinion anyway. Let me know yours in the comments below.