Advertising campaign relies on the unexpected to encourage viewership of longer ads

For viewers, skipping past a pre-roll ad after the mandatory five or 10 seconds of viewing is often a given. Taking away the option to skip presents a problem for companies that make use of pre-roll ads: how do you engage those who are forced to watch the ad to the end rather than losing their attention? The solution that Geico came up with might seem a little counterintuitive at first glance.

The insurance company’s Geico Fast Forward advertising initiative introduces four 15-second pre-roll ads that begin with a relatively unremarkable situation but then fast forward to a surprising result. The goal is to spark the viewer’s interest and encourage him or her to click a link to the unabridged, longer version of the ad to see what was missing and fill in the holes of the story told by the shorter clip.

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