- Thirty-eight percent of U.S. consumers think online ads should be shorter than TV ads, while 7% think online ads should be longer, according to findings of Kantar Millward Brown’s AdReaction study that were made available to Marketing Dive.
- A quarter of consumers think TV and online ad lengths should be the same, but need to cut to the chase quicker, and 15% think online ads should show the brand earlier. Additionally, 17% think online ads should be riskier or edgier than TV as.
- Among consumers, 13% think online ads should target a younger audience, and 11% say that online ads should feature spokespeople who are more relevant to online audiences.
There has been a lot experimentation of late among brands, media agencies, publishers and broadcasters with ads of varying lengths, making Kantar's research noteworthy because it provides some insight into consumer preferences when it comes to length. Until recently, ads were typically either 15-, 30- or 60-seconds long. Increasingly, though it is not unusual to see ads that are under 10 seconds on both TV and digital platforms. At the end of the extreme, some marketers have created ads that run as long as an hour.
As the Kantar Millward Brown study highlights, more than a third of consumers are interested in shorter ads than the traditional 30-second TV spot. Short-form video offers brands some versatility because the format can work across platforms. Investment in short-form pre-roll digital video ads was expected to increase during 2017, with 58% of marketers saying that would definitely use the format, according to Trusted Media Brands research included in an eMarketer report. Several brands have seen success with short video ads. Yoplait, for example, created 32 different six-second ads that retargeted viewers who had watched longer videos with customized messaging.
For marketers, going short might make the most sense when targeting younger consumers. Five- or six-second online ads are most effective at grabbing millennials’ attention, according to a CNBC report citing comScore data.
While consumers want shorter, more concise online video ads, creating a high-quality campaign that lands well can be a challenge for marketers. The campaigns tend to work best for brands with established products or that have recognizable imagery that can make an impact in a short timeframe. However, some marketers say shorter digital video ads stifle creativity because it’s harder to tell a proper story in such a brief timeframe or make an emotional connection. Marketers have also noted that production costs aren’t any less than when creating longer videos.