- Agency creative executives think the trend toward creating video ads shorter than traditional formats like the 30-second spot is making it harder to tell a proper story or make an emotional connection with viewers, and that some of the pressure coming from Silicon Valley and social media platforms to truncate ads is hampering creativity, according to a report in Business Insider
- Other issues cited with super-short video ads suggest that they don't easily fit easily into existing ad space and also make pricing difficult (a six-second spot being just one-fifth the length of a 30-second spot, for example).
- Creative executives added that production costs aren't much cheaper for shorter ads. Overall, there is a sense that major digital platforms like Facebook and Snapchat are dictating ad length to the advertising industry and forcing it to experiment "on clients' dime," Jeff Stamp, deputy chief creative officer for GreyNY, told Business Insider.
The frustration of creative executives with the trend toward super-short video ads is the latest indicator that agencies continue to face challenges in adjusting to the demands of digital marketing, and especially changing norms from what has been a steady comfort zone since the early days of TV — in this case, the standard 30- and 60-second video spots. Agencies likely feel particularly torn about the issue, as there is increasing pressure to create more emotionally-resonant, authentic-feeling marketing, which might be more difficult to do under ever-tighter time constraints.
Stepping away from agency opinion, some video marketers might push back against the viewpoints in the Business Insider report. Super-short spots are valued in for being a snappy way to immediately draw interest and encourage further engagement on platforms like Snapchat, where users can swipe up on ads to access more robust, longer-form content. Creative execs' complaints about digital platforms dictating ad length might also discount actual consumer viewing habits, especially as mobile commands more attention and plays a greater role in marketing.
"Super short videos have disrupted the world of video marketing and will continue to play a pivotal role throughout 2017," Jaclyn Rose, digital marketing lead at G2 Crowd, previously told Marketing Dive. "The 10-seconds-or-less video format has capitalized on today’s increasingly short attention spans. It’s the hook, the foot-in-the-door, the branding and awareness play that will turn video viewers into interested buyers."