Mercedez-Benz had five seconds.

This is June 2012. These days when you want to watch a video on YouTube, there are ads which start that you can only skip after 5 seconds. I hate these ads because they eat into my meager bandwidth. I watched one of them to the end, the new Mercedez-Benz ad. Why did I do that?

Mercedez-Benz had five seconds to do something that the user wouldn’t skip. What did they do?

They started with a nice music video-ish clip of a scene moving past the screen, and some nice music in the background. You see what happened there? For a moment you wouldn’t know this is an ad. I didn’t hit skip. I waited. Then I was sucked into the ad, which is what they wanted. I didn’t like the whole ad so much, but that’s irrelevant; they got me to watch it.

I don’t know if this was intentional. Probably not, because they didn’t do this ad just for YouTube. They did it for TV, everywhere. But it worked here.

Here’s the video:

2 thoughts on “Mercedez-Benz had five seconds.

  1. Amit Kumar

    See, that is the whole point of having an extra-ordinary ad. Even though you don’t like it, you click on it and the brand gets a like automatically. The same thinh happened to me. I was surfing the net one night, when I came across this: Initially I thought she is just teen posting her songs online, but when I started hearing her songs, I got so engrossed. She has posted several of her songs online and has millions of followers. Though, all the songs that she sings are from Bollywood, the way she sings them adds a zing to them. Then I read online that this girl, Shraddha Sharma is now being termed as the Justin Bieber of India and famous hair oil brand Hair n Care has roped her in for their latest TVC. Way to go girl! A star on the rise from YouTube!


    1. Hello Amit, thanks for your comment. I agree with what you said. I know about this girl of course because stuff like this spreads like wildfire through college campuses.
      But I believe that a lot of what grabs the spotlight online does so through a self-perpetuating mechanism which often denies the chance to equal, or better work which never just got started. For example, there’s this girl called Beth. She has her own channel on YouTube, and I’ve been checking out her videos for a while. She’s way cuter, and she sings better. But you’d be surprised how low her view counts are. The thing with YouTube, or most social media sites these days, is their algorithm of throwing the limelight on what’s already hot. This prevents users from discovering new work which is good. This mechanism can also easily be solved to give an exponentially rising popularity trend. Take Kolaveri for example. It’s famous for being so famous.
      I’m not sure I like this algorithm so much. While this is also cool, there should be a balance between this and promoting videos that nobody has watched a lot.


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