No… not how long on the earth or anything deep like that or how long before dinner… But how long do you think you have to grab and keep the attention of your audience?

(Before you tell me, I know that a few smart arses will now send me an email saying – you lost me three lines in…)

On-line – it’s just a few seconds, I’m sure you’ve heard this before.

It’s not that dissimilar when you meet people face to face either. Again, you’ve heard that “first impressions count”, right?

Well here’s an interesting experiment that proved how important it is to grab and keep peoples attention… (don’t get on my case about animal cruelty… he was fine, just consider how the ad holds peoples attention)…

Let me set the scene; When you watch a Youtube video, often it will start with an advert.

Yet we are prompted to click “Skip Ad” the very second it appears on screen. Around 94 percent of preroll, as it’s called, is skipped shortly after the first five seconds (which are made unskippable).

An American agency wanted to see if they could improve results and hold an audiences attention. What they came up with is not very subtle – granted – but over 26% of viewers did not skip the ad. A massive improvement, and it helped an animal charity into the bargain.

Have a look at the ad…