Countless brands have embraced the philosophy of “less is more” by exploring the six-second ad format. At their best, these ads are able to convey powerful messages in little more than the blink of an eye. Despite their potential, however, mastering the art of the six-second ad remains an enigma for many marketers, and with such little time to make an impression or communicate a message to viewers, the stakes of such an ad are high.
Six-second ads are at the heart of Hefty’s #PartyHefty campaign to promote its new line of party cups. Using a series of videos—“Office Party,” “Pool Party,” and “Tailgate Party”—Hefty shows the power of this playful, dynamic format to engage audiences.
When developing the campaign, a major challenge for Hefty was brand awareness. As Carlee Bilello, Hefty’s senior marketing manager, explained to Think with Google, “Hefty is relatively new to party cups and we have a competitor whose name has become a generic term for the category… While Hefty’s market share has grown over time, awareness remains low and there’s plenty of room to improve.”
“Office Party” makes incredible use of the six-second format to promote brand awareness. The ad employs a fun visual of three coworkers dancing wildly at a party, Hefty cups in hand, which keeps the product front-and-center in pursuit of the campaign’s brand awareness goals. The scene also stands out because of how brief it is: Featuring such an engaging visual for fewer than six seconds helps it to pop in viewers’ minds and thus reinforces the campaign’s objective.
Another ingredient of the ad’s success is its tight focus on a single goal. It can be tempting to make six-second ads too broad by incorporating multiple goals or by attempting to cram in complex narratives or an encyclopedic amount of information, but such an approach will only overload viewers and diminish the ad’s overall effectiveness. Hefty avoids these pitfalls by building the creative around a single heavily branded moment—an exciting office party—and this keeps the product and the brand central to the ad.
Hefty also treats its six-second ads as components of its larger #PartyHefty campaign rather than as cut-downs of more traditional, standalone video ads. As a result, Hefty demonstrates multiple perspectives of its product to viewers, but spreading those perspectives across a series of ads under the umbrella of a single campaign allows each moment to powerfully showcase the product and tout the brand.