Does Size Matter When it Comes to Video?

Six-second ads have proven to be extremely effective to connect with consumers across platforms like TikTok, YouTube, Pinterest, Snap and Meta properties. These short spots are able to create powerful meaning within just a few frames compared to traditional :15 or :30 second spots. IAB Canada has video on the mind as we prepare for Connected in Toronto this month and looking into creative best practices is one of our areas of focus. 

Over the years we have seen research from the Coalition for Better Ads (CBA) among others that have strongly suggested that ads should aim to feel like part of the immersive media experience and should avoid being intrusive. Awkward inserts contribute to that feeling of intrusion which is why native advertising placements within social feeds gained so much influence in the video advertising sector. Associating ads with appropriate context or leveraging machine learning and predictive models to place ads in feeds that are more likely to be receptive has been the secret sauce of success. 

While most platforms allow for full length video spots, short-form ads just seem to provide a better proportional balance to the content. Many platforms have created ad units specifically to deliver on the short spot promise. What about Connected TV though? 

While early studies caution against TV advertisers switching to short format, interesting findings from another study sponsored by the Advertising Research Foundation looking at consumer visual attention to TV ads found that six- second ads are most likely to gain visual attention when on broadcast TV versus cable, paired with another ad from the same brand and running solo in an ad pod. Another study by MediaScience and the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute found that average unaided brand recall for a seven-second ad is 9% versus 12% for a fifteen-second and 15% for a :30 spot – leading to their finding that shorter (six-second) ads deliver 60% of the impact of a thirty-second ad. The same research indicated that short ads fail to deliver on emotional storytelling but do provide effective support for longer ads so brands should use a portfolio of lengths within a campaign. 

IAB Canada is hosting Connected – A Data Night dedicated to CTV on September 21st where we will have an unplugged discussion on best practices for CTV. We’ll discuss everything from planning and measurement to effective ad creative. Be sure to join our community for a relaxed learning session at the Rivoli.