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  • Writer's pictureAntonioSoler

The SKIP Button in the Video Ads

I am not going to state the obvious about the changes and behavioral trends that have emerged because of the lockdown. People overall are spending more times in front of their screens. Since March 2020, the internet consumption has skyrocketed, the reasons are already known including working from home, working out from home, socializing from home, studying from home and many others. Countries such as China, India and The United States remain the ones with most internet users, others such as Brazil, Japan and Russia are also amongst the top 6 of countries which their population are increasingly using internet by number of users. For Ireland, the internet user rate is 84.5% (of their population) and, for Colombia, this rate is just about 62.2%. According to, these rates are composed by number of internet users connected via computer, mobile phone, digital Tv, and others.

The number of people using social media, have also increased during the last couple of years. According to OurWorldData.Org, more than 3 Billion people use social media, with platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram as the preferred social media platforms for active social media users. However, according to, WhatsApp also ranks amongst the most used social media platforms with approximately 2 Billion users.

The increased use of internet and social media platforms, at the same time, is pushing companies to adapt their strategies, and in particular, their advertisement “strategies”, to the use of social media. Companies have adapted not only the supply chain because of the derived effects of the pandemic, but also, companies have adapted their marketing and advertisement strategies to reach wider, faster, and closer to the final customer. This, thanks to the increasing use of social media platforms.

YouTube is the second biggest and the second most used SEO (search engine optimization) after Google. YouTube is also owned by Google. Just in the first third of 2020, YouTube generated $5 Billion dollars on revenue only from advertising, this according to The Verge. It is alleged that more than 2 billion people are constant users of the platform, and around 80% of those have their own account. For an advertiser, company, or entrepreneur, knowing exactly the price of an ad on the platform is very difficult, as the ad is optimized by bidding for ad placement. When we watch a video on YouTube, in a mobile phone, tablet, pc or tv, anywhere, we are exposed to different type of ads, unless we have a paid subscription. Let us focus for a moment on this matter.

The “Skip” button or function when we use YouTube, allow the user to ignore that paid content that was sent to the viewer as per ad placement and other complex algorithms selection. Companies and Entrepreneurs are spending more money on advertising on YouTube. We, as a potential customer, must deal with that reality, up to now YouTube is the biggest platform to watch that video you really like, we use the platform to follow the news, catch up on your favorite influencer, watch DYI videos, cooking, working out, etc. Thus far YouTube has no competition. However, this also means that we are so exposed to unwanted advertisement that probably we really, really do not want to see. And so, we press the SKIP button.

The ridiculous high quantity of ads in YouTube, makes it unbelievable easy for non-paid YouTube subscriptions, press and repeat that skip button. Amongst other, there are skippable and non-skippable videos ads. Most users advertising on YouTube focuses on the skippable ones because they are much cheaper. However, the skip button is a prompt response and easy to do when we receive an unwanted ad. There are several reasons as to why we skip an ad, also is because we are overexposed to an unbelievable high number of ads, most of which are skipped.

This reality must be considered by people when designing and organizing an advertising strategy. Perhaps, people underestimate the size of this SEO engine, and sometimes this is not the case. On average $10 USD are spent per day for advertisement on this platform. But little or no attention is paid to the elements of the visual message for this channel. The graphic materials, the audio, video elements and the type of message and wording must be specially designed for the YouTube platform. And people, companies and entrepreneurs fail to design materials specifically for this platform.

The competition on this platform is a ferocious red sea (just as the color of YouTube logo). Special attention needs to be paid to the content of the types of materials used for skippable ads on the platform. Companies and entrepreneurs should plan how to capture viewers’ attention on the first three seconds, most fail to do so. We should ask ourselves what message I need to deliver in three seconds to catch the viewer’s eye. The skip the ad button is becoming in a behavioral response. This behavioral response soon will become in something more serious, will become in a mechanic response to the skippable ads. This is the result of the increasing number of ads to which the users are overexposed.

If you are or will be responsible for allocating resources for your social media strategy, for your advertisement strategy, or if you are considering which is the appropriate platform for your brand, for your product or service or your goal, you should consider how to avoid these types of ‘red oceans’. And, if you decide to enter those oceans, carefully decide how I am going to catch the attention of the viewer in the first two-to-three seconds. I need customized ads for those channels. How are we going to do that?

The key takeaway here, is plan and design a strategy for your brand, product, or service and for each platform. You need a customized strategy for YouTube. Ask yourself, will that graphic material (image or video) I used in another social media really work on YouTube? The answer is probably not. Decide carefully, the message, the wording, the colors, the audio, the video, and plan this out to be delivered in less than 3 seconds. By doing this you are going to maximize the returns on your expenditure when advertising on YouTube.

Think outside the box when planning and designing your strategy.

I have skipped, to this day, probably thousands -if not millions- of ads, perhaps I have also skipped ads which I would potentially be interested in, however this behavior already became in a mechanical response: I do not see the ad, I just press the skip button if I have the choice to skip it.

And you? Which ads do you remember skipping because they are either annoying (video or sound), too repetitive (receiving the same ad lots of times), inaccurate (do not target my persona at all, e.g.? I am a male and receive an ad for female makeup) or other reasons? After skipping those ads, a couple of times in a row you do not want to hear of that brand, product, service, or person, right?!



J. Clement (2020) – “Global Social networks ranked by number of users 2020” Published online at Retrieved from: ',core%20Family%20product%20users%20947869. '

Kim Lyons (2020) – “YouTube brings in $5 billion in ad revenue as Alphabet and Google bounce back” Published online, '' [Online Resource]

Max Roser, Hannah Ritchie and Esteban Ortiz-Ospina (2015) - "Internet". Published online at Retrieved from: '' [Online Resource]

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