Creative Edge Consultants

On a Pre-Roll – Carney

Pre-Roll Ads: What are They and How to Use Them

Pre-Roll ads. We bet you’ve seen ’em a million times and wondered how to get them rolling yourself.

What is a Pre-Roll Video Ad?

A pre-roll is played before the video is initiated in a video player. They are typically shorter than the average TV commercial and can be bought directly or programmatically.

3 Types of Pre-Roll Ads:

  • Skippable pre-roll ads. These provide the option to skip the ad after the first 5 seconds of watching.
  • Non skippable pre-rolls. This ad unit leaves no option to skip ads and is usually 15 to 20 seconds.
  • Bumper pre-rolls. This can last for 6 seconds and it’s also unskippable. They are are managed through Google ads and Youtube’s TrueView campaigns.

The Benefits of Pre-Rolls:

  • Guaranteed video views
  • Relevancy based on video content
  • The links and CTAs are more interactive
  • Trackable responses
  • Easier comprehension
  • Brand awareness and lead attraction

How to Use Pre-Roll Ads:

Let’s start with length. Pre-roll ads are short (no more than 15 to 30 seconds). Ideally, a perfect pre-roll ad should get all the right information out in 5 seconds. That’s no easy feat, so here are some typical “formulas” to help you structure your ads.

  • Formula #1. For ads that last up to 30 seconds, fit the most important message in the first few seconds, then give a detailed explanation during the next 20 seconds. Repeat the main message in the remaining few seconds.
  • Formula #2. Put the hook in the first several seconds of the video. Use a few seconds to name of the brand and feature the slogan. Use the next 15 seconds to tell how your product or service solves a problem. Use the last 5 seconds to repeat the same idea or featuring the product.
  • Formula #3. Briefly feature your product or service with the option to skip for those to whom the offer could be irrelevant.

Check out the full article by Smarty Ads to get more examples, strategies, and advice on pre-roll ads.


Feeling squirrely about ads? Use AdCritter for all of your TV, digital billboard, and programmatic ad needs. On top of targeted media buying, AdCritter has over 15 million pre-designed internet ads for virtually every kind of business. Choose your specialty and pick the ads you like, so you save time on your ad development and versioning.

We’ll Get the Ball Rollin’

Don’t know where to start with video content, much less ads?

No need to push that ball uphill yourself. Carney’s got the muscle to help.

We’ll audit your site and brand, then come up with a custom plan for eye-catching video content and how to get it in front of the right audiences.

Let’s work together.

Here for it

H&M released several short ads for a “Here For It” campaign. They are about the dynamic between what you wear, how you feel, and how other people can make you feel with what you wear. They are little looks into random girl compliments in a bathroom, the confidence of wearing a powerful blazer, and even how naked you could feel without your signature accessory.

They are a relatable little series and we’re here for it!


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