Pre-roll ads on Youtube are tough to make work. Most people tend to use the skip button as soon as possible. A charity in Chile wanted to use this medium but needed to overcome this barrier to engagement. Their solution was brilliant: Turn the skipping behavior into a challenge. They used the 5 seconds prior to the skip button appearing to call out the regular behavior, then served up 2 active buttons – one to skip the ad, the other to skip the behavior. In other words, they forced people to think about the message that was about to appear and ask themselves whether it was right to ignore it.
The idea is brilliant because it goes at the heart of the medium’s weakness, turning it into a strength. Not only did the approach spark your inherent curiosity, it also poked at your conscience. The effect was notable: 80,000 people chose to change their behavior which was a significantly higher view rate than normal for that given time period.