Six-Second Video Ads Positioned For Success

By Alex Weprin

Originally published in MediaPost

Six-second ads are still a relatively new phenomenon, but they are quickly becoming one of the more premium ad formats, securing space during prime-time TV and on the most premium programming.

At the “AUDIENCExSCIENCE” conference on Wednesday, Paul Donato, the executive vice president and CRO of the Advertising Research Foundation, will present the results of a study on six-second ads.

Among the findings? Six-second ads “capture attention for a higher proportion of the ad seconds.”

“Six-second ads positioned in ‘premium’ content were indeed primed for success,” Donato tells Digital News Daily.

“They were placed to do well, either on premium programming, as standalone units, or they tended to most often have really good pod position,” Donato says. “The advertisers and networks and agencies were trying something new, but used it in such a way where it was most likely to be successful, and it was successful.”

The research was conducted in-home between November 2017 and the end of April, in partnership with TVision Insights and its panel of about 2,000 households.

“We have gone back and analyzed virtually every six-second ad that has occurred since November,” Donato says. “I believe we have over 3,000 short-form ads, and the longer-form ads that may have surrounded them or were in the same program. It is really comprehensive in terms of the measures.”

The ARF research found that light TV viewers pay more attention to short-form ads than other types of viewers, and that there is a “modest halo effect” for long-form ads that run alongside short-form ads.

Still, the research also raises new questions. It still isn’t clear what impact the ad format has on brand recall and messaging, and the ROI needs to be measured. In addition, as the format continues to expand to new programming, will the efficacy that has been measured so far continue?

“This is the beginning of best-in-class research, and I think it will encourage more advertisers to gradually take advantage of this format, as we learn more about creative ties to long form, and other approaches that will optimize short form,” Donato says.

TV and CTV Attention Report
The TV and CTV Attention Report