Bumper Ads for Pharma

October 18, 2017

As multimedia advertising continues to advance, Google recently launched a new format to target users at the start of YouTube videos, similar to pre-roll ads. Bumper ads are 6 second videos which provide reach and have been shown to drive greater brand recall in a mobile-first world. Per Google’s studies on the effectiveness of bumper ads, they drove 30% higher ad recall than in-stream ads.

While bumper ads work similarly to in-stream ads, as Google charges on a cost-per-impression (CPM) basis and has the same targeting options, they are shorter, non-skippable ads geared towards mobile devices. The shorter format ads provide a new opportunity to “bump” your brand, keeping it top of mind, while engaging and driving users to interact with relevant ad content. They provide massive reach at a high frequency with an efficient CPM and are geared towards mobile users who are on the move, targeting them with “snackable” content.

There are three main reasons to utilize the bumper ads:

• Tease – tease a new product or clinical trial to drive excitement in the marketplace.

• Amplify – amplify awareness of an existing product by pairing the bumper ad with an already existing in-stream video.

• Echo – echo another promotion, such as a savings card to remind and urge consumers to ask their doctor for more information.

Bumper ads can be an impactful part of your marketing plan if utilized the right way. Google recently ran a bumper ads campaign promoting some of the most popular YouTube personalities to test how the audience would receive and engage with the content. They followed up the bumper ads with :30 in-stream ads to provide more content and drive engagement for those interested in learning more. The combination of the bumper ads along with in-stream helped echo the message the team was trying to convey by targeting the right people with the right messaging at the right time.

Case Study

CMI launched a bumper ad campaign to promote a virtual event for a client as one of the first healthcare brands to pilot the ad format. The goal of the campaign was to raise awareness of the event by targeting users on YouTube who were digesting content within our target market.

With this being a quick turnaround and a new ad format with minimal measurement, the expectation was to increase visibility and awareness. After discussing with the client and our Google reps, we concluded that overall impressions would be the main KPI for this campaign and we would use the results as a baseline for future campaigns.

The campaign was a success, driving over 444,000 impressions with a $10 CPM over the span of two days. As bumper ads are geared towards mobile users, over 84% of the impressions appeared on mobile and tablet devices with the remainder being seen on desktop. The percentage of impressions from mobile reinforces the opportunity to target users searching on their phones with snackable or teaser content to raise awareness and ad recall.

As with all campaigns, we recommend a strategic approach when launching a bumper ads campaign. Bumper ads should be used to tease a new product, increase awareness of existing product or in support for another promotion. Additionally, we would recommend running bumper ads for a prolonged timeframe in order to apply learnings and make optimizations throughout the duration of the campaign. Optimally, a bumper ad launch would be in conjunction with a :30 ad to reinforce the message, per Googles findings.


While six seconds can be limiting, pushing the right message at the right time can be effective, especially for brand recall. If your campaign goal is to raise awareness or promote a specific product such as a savings card, you may want to consider bumper ads as a cost-effective method of doing so with a focused message. These ads may be short, but can go a long way for brand recall if executed strategically.