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YouTube Shorts Advertisements: How do they attract people?

With the advancement of technologies, our society has become a digital world, and many people are willing to devote their time to social media. There are various types of social media, including photo-oriented ones like Instagram. In this article, I focused on YouTube, which focuses on videos, and especially on advertisements on the YouTube Shorts in South Korea.

What is so unique about YouTube Shorts?

Let’s compare YouTube Shorts advertisements and television advertisements to see how unique YouTube Shorts advertisements are. YouTube Shorts and television both offer advertisements in the form of videos. What YouTube shorts advertisements and television advertisements also have in common is that the video duration is short. The maximum time for YouTube shorts is 1 minute, and television commercials are usually short, like 15 and 30 seconds.

The unique thing about YouTube shorts advertisements is that people enjoy the videos even though they are aware that they are ads. If there is a paid advertisement within the current YouTube content, it must be indicated that it is a paid advertisement. The same goes for YouTube Shorts, so YouTube Shorts videos with paid advertisements have a paid advertisement sign.

Enjoying YouTube Shorts advertisements as contents

According to Brand Brief, The SMC Group, a comprehensive new media content company, announced the ‘Generation Z short-form usage behavior report’ based on the results of an online survey of 300 Generation Z, aged 20 to 29. According to the report, in a survey conducted on a 5-point scale to the question of resistance to displaying paid advertisements, 56% responded ‘I don’t care.’

What is the appeal of YouTube shorts advertisements that people browse and enjoy? What kind of YouTube shorts advertisements do viewers enjoy? I analyzed Korean YouTube shorts advertisements and found two interesting categories.

First category: The Idol Challenge

When K-pop idols release a new song, the challenge of dancing to the song is a trend. Some entertainment companies even pay YouTubers to do the challenge to promote their new song.

Image of a YouTube Shorts advertisement of the song 'Baddie' by IVE.
Image of a YouTube Shorts advertisement of the song 'Baddie' by IVE.

For example, you can see that there are paid advertisements sign in these YouTube shorts videos for the song ‘Baddie’ by IVE. These challenges get a lot of attention from the idol’s fans. The images below are from YouTubers @0r7r2l and @sisteryell.

Second category: advertisements that matches the characteristics of the YouTuber.

In this case, by advertising a product that matches the characteristics of the YouTuber, the YouTube shorts advertisements are not much different from the atmosphere or topic of the usual ones. Therefore, viewers can enjoy advertisements as if they were just ordinary YouTube Shorts contents.

For example, there is a YouTuber called Weird Sweets Shop that teaches young viewers how to make snacks easily and introduces new and unique snacks. On one YouTube Shots advertisement, she advertised snacks and desserts that young people like, such as tteokbokki, chicken, and waffles.

This YouTuber’s characteristics were clearly revealed in the healthy shake powder advertisement. The product was promoted through a short situational play that said, ‘The person who sells a 10,000-calorie shake full of chocolate actually drinks a healthy shake.’

Image of a YouTube Shorts advertisement about the healthy shake powder.
Image of a YouTube Shorts advertisement about tteokbokki and chicken.

To summarize, YouTube Shorts advertisements are effective with its short time period and enjoyability. If companies utilize the YouTube shorts function well, they will be able to achieve good advertising effects.


Picture of Minseo Kwon

Minseo Kwon

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