- Shorter video spots are more effective than previously thought at influencing consumers throughout the purchase funnel, a model that describes the customer journey from first seeing an ad to buying a product or service. The growing popularity of short-form premium content and improvements to ad creative are driving the shift, per a study by Interpublic's Magna and IPG Media Lab and social media company Snap.
- Six-second ads that often are used to boost awareness at the top of the purchase funnel can be as effective as 15-second ads for mid-funnel strategies. A six-second ad can boost brand preference by 9% and purchase intent by 5%, similar to the respective 10% and 4% gains for a 15-second ad in tests that controlled for the brand, according to the study.
- While six-second ads generated the same recall as 15-second ads, viewers were more likely to say the lengthier ad was more "intrusive," a negative sentiment that brands try to avoid. The performance of ad length was consistent among different viewing devices, such as smartphones or computers, and among age groups, per an announcement.
Marketers have faced a challenge in trying to tell a brand story in the six-second format that has become more common on social media platforms looking to ensure users don't disengage because of ads that are too pervasive and too intrusive. Magna, IPG Media Lab and Snap's study suggests that six-second ads can be as effective as 15-second ads in helping brands not only to raise awareness, but also to increase brand preference, search intent and purchase intent.
The findings help to confirm other research about the effectiveness of shorter ads, especially since mobile ads trigger an emotional response in less than half a second, according to a study by brain researcher Neurons for the Mobile Marketing Association. On TV, six-second ads captured 8% to 11% more attention per second than longer ads, per a study by the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) and TVision Insights.
Demonstrating the effectiveness of six-second ads is important to Snap, which last year introduced a service that lets brands reserve and buy non-skip, six-second commercials during premium shows in the Discover section of its Snapchat photo-messaging app. The Magna and IPG Media Lab study helps to demonstrate the effectiveness of video ads on Snapchat, especially compared with video aggregation services that went unnamed in the study. According to the results, consumers were more likely to skip 15-second ads on a video aggregator than they were on Snapchat.
Snap is among the digital platforms that have pushed for shorter ads that it helped to popularize on Snapchat. Twitter last year began offering a video ad-bidding option to drive adoption of short-form video ads on its platform. Before that, Google's YouTube rolled out software to help advertisers automatically shorten their ads into six-second ads, which it calls "bumpers." As people increase their consumption of digital video on social media and video-sharing platforms, more marketers are likely to adopt six-second ads to reach those audiences.