YuMe: Ad Effectiveness Depends on Length (MESA)

A new study from multi-screen video ad firm YuMe and IPG Media Lab, the creative technology arm of IPG Mediabrands found that interactive ads almost always have a leg up on their more static counterparts, and while shorter-form ads may be effective overall, it really depends on who’s watching them. The study — which sampled almost 10,000 consumers across smartphones, tablets and PCs, and looked at ads from Hotwire, Charles Schwab, Miller Lite, Jeep and TV Land — found that highly interactive ads resulted in 10% more “lift” (attention and message breakthrough) than non-interactive ads, but only as long as they didn’t interrupt the video experience itself….

And while ad engagement was mostly consistent across devices, if done right, they’re particularly effective on mobile devices (with mobile users reporting 52% satisfaction with ads on those devices, compared to 41% for PCs).

“With the increasing popularity of new ad lengths, the time was ripe to garner new insights around effectiveness that can help shape both strategy and creative direction,” said Paul Neto, research director for YuMe. “While we found micro ads to be effective with driving recall, especially with millennials, 15 seconds or more were required to drive persuasion metrics.”

YuMe noticed that, in general, while consumers are latching on to shorter content, marketers are responding by making ads longer, a result of investing in custom content created for digital platforms. This could be a mistake.

“The study not only shows that marketers need to be thoughtful about how they deploy various video ad lengths, but also that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all best practice” said Kara Manatt, Head of Research, IPG Media Lab. “We need to take a more nuanced approach and customize based on our goals and target audience.”

The study found that shorter ads serve as a quick reminder of established brands, driving top-of-mind awareness, while longer ads should be used to educate about something new brand.

“The research … showed us that we can deploy different video ad lengths strategically based on the individual needs of all brands within our portfolio,” said Dan Langert, senior media manager for MillerCoors. “The research supports the importance of messaging precision and length, given the device the consumer is utilizing.”