Creative 5 Min Read

Our Panel Recap: How to Tell a Six-Second Story

Written by Tim Edmundson

SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. This year, we were fortunate enough to be a part of it with a panel where the future of advertising itself was discussed — namely, the six second ad.

As attention spans continue to shorten and more content means more competition, advertisers are faced with a new challenge. They must discover a new way to connect with an audience that is used to devoting only a few seconds of attention to a piece of content in their feeds. Thus the six second ad was born — but can advertisers really tell a full story in such a short amount of time? Is it a format that can stand on its own, or should it be seen as an accompaniment for a larger campaign? Are they cheaper to produce? And if brands can tell a story, what kind of story should it be?

To answer those questions, SteelHouse CPO Marwan Soghaier joined Geoff White of Green Chef, Janice Sutter of GSD&M, and Tanya Dua of Business Insider to see what the six second ad brings to a marketer’s media mix.

You can watch the full panel here, and look below for some of the best quotes from the presentation.

How to Tell a 6-Second Story: Advertising’s Future

Marwan Soghaier
> “It’s really important to realize you’re dealing with a really powerful format. You have an opportunity to get a concept across to the audience, and i think any marketer should first look at ‘what is the concept that i am trying to get across to my customer,’ in that part of the funnel. For the top of the funnel, brand awareness, it should be ‘what do i want my audience to feel’ to connect with what I’m about to show them in this short format.”

Geoff White
> “In six seconds, you’re not likely able to convey original thought or an original idea, it’ a snippet, it’s a trigger to trigger memories in your viewers brains. It creates a frame of reference for the point you’re trying to get across.”

Janice Suter
> “The six second format is a wonderful way to put out different messages, target them to different people, and see what those results are, to see what’s driving that engagement, what’s driving that viewership, what’s driving people to stick with an ad or a video…. It gives so much data and so much feedback on what messages resonate.”