Gone in 6 seconds…

There’s a lot of talk about online video advertising lately, with a hot topic being their length.
60 seconds, 30 seconds, 15 seconds, 6 seconds – so many options,shutterstock_318321197 but what way is the right way to go?

Well Google and Facebook, the two current online advertising giants, are making the case for “shorter video = better ROI” as a general best practice. (Of course, there’s always unique long-form exceptions).

Aligning back to the Coalition for Better Ads’ standards, Google is phasing out 30-second, unskippable pre-roll ads and making the six-second unskippable ad their new gold standard (Source: Digiday). Google is positioning its six-second “bumper ads” as a highly-effective tactic for ensuring brand content gets exposure and quickly communicates a message to short-attention-span consumers. And the data backs up their belief. Across 489 bumper campaigns, Google found that 61% of them drove a significant lift in brand awareness and an average lift of 9% across all campaigns, with even better ad recall (Source: Think with Google). Similarly, Facebook has been pushing advertisers to create video content under 15 seconds and has begun working with advertisers to develop 6 second video ads. Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, stated that “6 seconds emerged as an ideal ad length…”  based on their recent testing (Source: AdAge).

So, does this mean you should call up your media rep and start buying bumper ads in bulk? Should you forget all about long-form video advertising? No and no. At Agency59, our philosophy is consumers feel it or forget it when it comes to advertising – and this belief applies directly to online video advertising. Yes, bumper video ads are proving they can be trusted to engage your shortened-attention-span target audiences but it also doesn’t mean they should be used solo. It’s important to build them into your integrated campaign and strategy, and when developing 6-second content, ensure it is simple and memorable creative and messaging.

Also, it will be important for strategists, media planners and creatives to understand the versatility and purpose of bumper ads before jumping on the 6-second train blind. For example, if you’re targeting millennials or Generation Z, 6-second bumper ads show signs of being an effective tactic to capture attention and make an impression – but if you’re targeting an older demographic, longer form videos may be a better route to deliver your message.

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