Size matters – insights into Video Ads length, content, media channels

There is increasing evidence of the effectiveness of online video ads. Based on research from the last year, here are some key insights into video ads and how to utilise them to best serve your next video ad campaign:

Short-form video ads

Best for Social Platforms

Research by MediaScience and the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute found that 6 second ads deliver 60% of the impact of a 30-second ad. The results showed that short ads can deliver effectiveness efficiently, because ad length has diminishing returns – most of the effect of ad length on ad awareness is delivered by the first five seconds of exposure.

Even ultra-short 2-second ads are more effective than the first few seconds of a full 30-second spot. In a study testing 2-second edits of regular video ads versus the 30-second ad: 90% of viewers recognise the product (versus 46% after the first two seconds of the original long commercial), and 70% understand the message (versus 25%).

This effectiveness makes short-form video ads perfect for Social media given that the average mobile post is seen for 1.7 seconds (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat). A 6-second video (shot so it can be cropped to square, landscape and vertical) which front-weights the message works for social feeds, stories, YouTube and Snapchat, making it truly multi-platform.

And while a 2-second video is never going to convey a complex message, it can grab attention and make a mark in a consumer’s mind – like a good animated GIF, TikTok filter or boomerang.

Creative for Short-form ads

Short-form ads are a challenge because there is so little time in which to develop the creative and deliver a message – but having triggers to link the brand to the ad can help drive recognition quickly.

Based on two AI-powered studies, creative suggestions for short-form video success include:

Tell a compelling story- by having only one key message and fewer scene edits

Keep the brand at the heart of the action- using brand elements from the start does not have a significant impact on attention levels or emotional engagement; and clear branding at the end increases viewers wanting to know more, with pack shots particularly effective

Use celebrities with caution- they are less emotionally engaging; if used, connection to brand must be easy to understand

Open with human faces and close-ups- for higher engagement

Pay attention to audio- for sound on, use voiceover rather than dialogue to avoid confusion; for sound-off, avoid subtitles but use captions baked inside the creative. Also think carefully about music - it can cause confusion or have a polarising effect in a short format

Longer video ads are far from dead – the chance for story telling

15 second ads

A study by research firm Forethought found no significant difference between 15 and 30 second ads. It attributes this to the “peak-end rule” as length had little impact on effectiveness when commercials had the same peak and end creative elements. However, it suggests brands should invest in longer form spots as well as fifteens as they can better elicit emotion and are more appropriate for complex messages such a new product or campaigns launches.

30 second ads

Data from early 2019 shows 30-second ads account for over two-thirds (69%) of all video impressions. This is actually up from 46% in Q1 2018 at the expense of fifteen second ads which have fallen from 48% to just over one-quarter (28%). This is due to a growth in connected TV (CTV) impressions as the channel offers a TV-like viewing experience and the inability of viewers to skip.

1-2 minute ads

YouTube found that brand ads between 1.2 and 1.7 minutes long are most likely to be shared compared to shorter or longer ads. The study also found that the presence of elements of a dramatic narrative structure (e.g likeable/relatable characters and an engaging plot) motivates viewers to share.

In conclusion – Short and Long work hand in hand

While there are many benefits and uses for Short-form video ads it is important to remember they do not allow for emotional storytelling. However they can be effective reminders of 30- or 60-second ads. Brands should therefore use a portfolio of ad lengths for different kinds of ad experiences.

Reference. WARC

The state of CTV in NZ - Webinar

Watch webinar here.

This is the first of our webinar series - hosted by our GM of Innovation & Technology, Zane Furtado.

This 15 min webinar will talk about the growing role that CTV plays for brands and marketers. Join Zane to learn why now is the ideal time to explore Connected TV’s latest targeting opportunity, its growing supply in NZ, and the innovative ad units and formats available.

You will discover buying tactics, CTV metrics and reasons to incorporate CTV in you next campaign.

Trending topics in the data-driven advertising world

Data is a crucial factor in the success of an Advertising/Marketing campaign. Here are a few hot data-driven advertising trends to include in your next campaign strategy.

Data Unification and Identity: It’s important you unify all of your data (across all platforms) into a master customer profile and connect known and unknown data. Known data comes from people you can identify— e.g newsletter subscribers. Unknown data is generated by people you can’t easily identify – e.g those who drop into your website without logging in. By connecting the two along with sales and service data, you’ll be able to understand each unique customers behavioural journey and in-turn deliver exceptional personalised experiences

Journey Management: Today journey management is overwhelmingly data-driven and dependent on having that single, unified view of the customer. Which is why marketers are increasingly working hand-in-hand with sales and customer service. The customer journey its-self continues to move away from being siloed and linear into something that moves across channels and mediums. So, marketers are putting greater focus on omnichannel experiences and synchronising online and offline channels.

1:1 Targeting: 1:1 targeting and communications strategy is founded on first-party data and contingent on having that single, unified view of the customer. With such a cohesive understanding of a consumer’s intent, preferences and history, you can drive campaigns and experiences that speak to a specific consumer’s needs and wants. If done well, high-quality personalised experiences will help convince consumers that there is real value in sharing their data.

Privacy and the Post-Cookie World: With Google’s decision to phase out third-party cookies, Europe’s GDPR or California’s CCPA, it’s clear the privacy regulation landscape is only set to expand. Which is why it’s critical that you stay ahead by adopting a privacy-centric ethos. In practice, this means working with tools that allow your company to implement a scalable privacy policy that can adjust for different regulatory environments. Marketers will have to be more mindful of balancing personalisation with customer comfort.

Evolved Measurement: The focus on customer experience has changed how marketers view and measure success. The percentage of marketers tracking customer lifetime value and customer satisfaction metrics continues to increase and many are becoming more strategic about when and where they analyse certain metrics. It’s likely that over the next 12-24 months those that haven’t jumped on board with AI will begin to adopt it and see benefits, shifting the baseline for what can be done with more advanced measurement systems.


Finding the perfect campaign balance

The perfect amount of strategy, mixed with perfect timing, and a dash of perfect creative. How do you know if your advertising campaign is reaching your audience correctly?

Measuring if your adverts are truly connecting with your consumer at a subconscious level has always been near impossible, which is a major concern because this is where most consumer decision-making takes place. BUT we are finally getting better insights into these important metrics.

In a 2019 New Zealand-based study, more than 100 participants of varying demographics were shown a range of newspaper and TV campaigns. Using sensors fitted onto lycra caps, the technology shows how different parts of the brain ‘light up’, depending on how the information is being processed.

The study measured the ability of advertising communications to cut through - to get into long-term memory as well as the intensity of emotion that people felt and their level of attention when they were exposed to advertising content.

The results showed that participants were far more likely to store the detail of advertising messages in their long term memory if the advertising was on premium sites than during general free browsing.

This information is consistent with another study - Neuro-Insight’s 2019 report, which shows that the editorial context, platform, device, and even physical environment in which can impact advertising effectiveness.


Time's Tiking

It’s never too early to build your TikTok strategy

Unless you’ve been living in a time bubble, you’ll know about TikTok, the social app that’s sweeping the globe. Created by China’s ByteDance, TikTok users share short clips edited with sound and visual effects. The app is well-known for lip-syncing and dance clips, but it covers everything from cringe videos, to duets, challenges and memes.

TikTok’s mission is to ‘inspire creativity and bring joy.’ There’s obviously a lot of demand for creativity and joy with 800 million monthly active users and over 2 billion downloads since the worldwide launch in September 2017. TikTok users average around 52 minutes a day and open the app 8 times a day. 83% of users have created content on the platform.

It’s no surprise then that TikTok is an advertisers dream. TikTok ads are video based, but if you don’t have content, TikTok offers an AI-powered Smart Video Creator, that adds effects and transitions to your images and syncs them with stock or your own music tracks.

TikTok Ads are currently available for Australia, Canada, United States, India, Japan, Thailand, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Russia, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates with New Zealand soon to join the list and Acquire is ready to get your brand singing and dancing.

Talk TikTok.

Before you start building your TikTok campaign, here are a few handy terms to get you started.

Challenges: TikTok challenges specifically refer to viral trends circulating on the platform that creators can recreate and take part in.

Cringe: This is a popular category involving videos of people purposefully acting awkwardly or “cringey”.

Duets: TikTok lets you take another user’s video and add their own alongside it. ‘Shallow’ anyone?

#ForYou: This tag recommends videos users might like. Most creators use it to get their videos featured.

Fans: If you’re loving the content of another user, you can become a fan.

Hearts: TikTok’s way of measuring how many likes you’re getting.

Lip Syncing: Where it all began - videos where users lip sync to popular tracks.

Musers: A nickname for TikTok users - don’t ask us why.