Ads that make us go hmm: Nail Combats YouTube Pre-Roll

August 14, 2014

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Do you automatically press “Skip Ad” when watching videos on YouTube? We know we’re guilty! Our friends at Nail Communications estimated that about 94% of online ads are skipped.1 In order to create dialogue around this issue, Nail got to work the best way they know how. The finished product was an “unskippable” pre-roll ad for the ASPCA in which an actor promises to electrocute a puppy if the viewer tries to skip it. Each time the video is watched fully, Nail promises to donate to the ASPCA.

We think that Nail’s advertisement cleverly catches viewer’s attention, while still delivering the ASPCA brand message, and they have the stats to prove it! They recently reported that the video now has more than 180,000 views and according to the Wall Street Journal, 26% of viewers have watched the entire spot.2 It also garnered attention from the industry in a big way, with The Wall Street Journal, Ad Week, Gizmodo and Agency Spy all featuring the ad.

Aside from its creativity, the spot brings home the valuable point that you should create content for the channel it will live on. Simply placing ads on YouTube when they are not designed for that channel, will not benefit your brand or engage the target audience. As Nail’s Social Media Strategist, Greg Shumchenia, told the Wall Street Journal, “TV creative often opens with a slow pan [camera shot] and you’re bored by the time the skip button appears. YouTube ads should be designed for YouTube”.3

Great job guys!


  1. http://blogs.wsj.com/cmo/2014/07/29/agency-tries-to-create-unskippable-pre-roll-ad/ 

  2. http://blogs.wsj.com/cmo/2014/07/29/agency-tries-to-create-unskippable-pre-roll-ad/ 

  3. http://blogs.wsj.com/cmo/2014/07/29/agency-tries-to-create-unskippable-pre-roll-ad/