SAN FRANCISCO: Around two-thirds (65%) of consumers skip video ads and they do so as soon as they get the chance, according to new research, which also revealed that three-quarters (76%) say they skip ads because it is ingrained behaviour.

That is according to IPG Mediabrands' Magna and Media Lab units, which conducted a media trial involving more than 11,300 consumers recruited from a representative online panel.

The experiment replicated online video experiences, including 23 types of ads, and used webcams to measure the emotional responses and attention spans of participants to skippable pre-roll ads.

While the headline findings may seem "daunting", as the report described them, advertisers should be encouraged that the research also found that it is still possible to increase awareness even when consumers skip an ad.

For example, consumers still pay attention to pre-roll ads, picking up on the advertising brand and remembering it, and the value of a skipped ad also increases incrementally the longer a person "sticks around".

Specifically, the report recommended that advertisers consider using six-second, non-skippable ads, as a way to complement their skippable pre-roll campaigns.

"The results of this media trial proved that there are viable solutions to improve skippable ad campaigns," said Kara Manatt, Magna's SVP of Intelligence Solutions Strategy.

"While skipping is an ingrained behaviour, more succinct ads, coupled with human connection and good storytelling, will help brands more deeply engage with its audiences," she added.

According to the findings, six-second ads are a highly effective way to complement a skippable pre-roll ad campaign, partly because they "offer the ability to impact consumers that would have otherwise skipped". They can also help to convey originality for a brand, the report added.

Data sourced from IPG Magna, IPG Media Lab; additional content by Warc staff