Nail Communications Threatens a Puppy to Make a Point

By Patrick Coffee 

First, a disclaimer: the following is NOT an ad, so adjust your critical standards accordingly.

This week brings news that YouTube officially surpassed Facebook in terms of overall users in the United States. It’s also the second-most popular search venue, yet its value to advertisers is limited by the dreaded preroll.

While we can’t guess as to the success of this conversation starter from Rhode Island’s Nail Communications, or AdAge 2013 Small Agency of the Year for the Northeast, we think you’ll agree that there’s a point to be made.


In the “about” section, Nail restates why we all hate preroll ads and proposes a sort-of solution…

“The skip rates are unbelievable (94% is a generous estimate). And when there is no skip button, you can practically feel the resentment oozing through the Internet. Hardly the temperament most brands want to inspire from their customers, right?

Yes, content is king. But here, context is also king. (A gay royal couple if you will.)”

All well and good. The answer to the problem is less clear:

“YouTube ads should be designed for YouTube. They should use the tools and features given to us and interact with the user and the platform in a way that can’t be rivaled. They should be self-aware. They should talk to one person at a time…

It’s like we’re NASA and we’re only using the Hubble Telescope to look at our neighbor’s boobs.”

Again, we have no idea how much money the clip will raise for the ASPCA or whether its model can be applied to other types of work, but at least this agency is trying to address the underlying problem.

Now let’s discuss some alternate solutions (which hopefully do not involve harming any puppies).