How Long Should a Video Ad Be?

How Long Should a Video Ad Be?

It's no secret that video advertising is one of the most effective marketing mediums in existence today. About 85% of all Internet users in the United States consume video content monthly in terms of reach. Moreover, studies show that over half of consumers (54%) want to see more video content from their support brands.

Savvy marketers continue to take advantage of video's popularity and widespread appeal when growing their business. Of course, one of the critical questions that must be asked when it comes to video marketing is: How long should the ad be? Let's discuss some factors that you should keep in mind when determining the length of your video.

What Platform Are You Advertising On?

Some video platforms allow for "long-form commercials," whereas others limit advertisers to a set length. For example, TV advertising is typically segmented into time slots of 15, 30, and 60 seconds (with 15 seconds being the average). In contrast, YouTube ads can be several minutes long (although they come with a "Skip Ad" option).

The platforms you want to deliver your marketing message will ultimately influence how long your ads will be. This, in turn, will affect your overall ad creative.

What's Your Purpose for the Ad?

You need to identify the “why” behind your ad campaign. Is it to increase brand awareness? Do you want to promote a specific product or build anticipation for a seasonal promotion? No matter what the subject may be, the underlying objective of your ad will inform its length.

As an example, car commercials are often longer than 15 seconds because advertisers are trying to accomplish several things within the designated time, such as:

  • Enhancing the public perception of the car and the company (e.g., a luxury brand vs. an affordable, practical brand)
  • Highlighting key features of the car
  • Mentioning the price, along with special offers, discounts, or promotions

On the other hand, commercials that are purely designed to increase brand awareness tend to have a shorter runtime since detailed information about the products offered is usually not necessary.

What's the Attention Span of Your Audience?

Research indicates that the average person does not have a very long attention span. Humans in modern society tend to have a shorter attention span than goldfish! With that in mind, you need to get to the point of your ad quickly.

Of course, your target demographic may have a shorter or longer attention span than the average. If you target Millennials, you may need to produce an ad that progresses at a "breakneck pace." In contrast, older consumers may exercise a little bit more patience. Regardless of your market segment, you want to make your video as captivating as possible from the very beginning.

How Quickly Can You Get Your Message Across Without Sacrificing Quality?

In addition to considering your audience's attention span, you need to have a clear idea of how much time is required to get your core message across without sacrificing the ad’s overall quality and effectiveness. Again, this is primarily dependent on the main goal that's driving your ad campaign in the first place.

Pepsi's TV commercial for Pepsi Max is an excellent example of how to build top-of-mind awareness in a clever, engaging way — in 15 seconds or less. Look for ways to imitate that hook in your ad creative. In terms of cost, reach, and impact sometimes less is more.

What Does Your Budget Allow?

Video production costs money, and your budget is not an infinite resource. It's vital to understand what your video marketing budget will allow in terms of ad creation and distribution. 

For instance, suppose that you have enough money to produce a 30-second commercial, but it will have limited production values, and you'll only be able to run it across a couple of platforms for a limited time. To get the "biggest bang for your buck," it may be wiser to take that money and develop a 15-second commercial instead — one with better production values and more flexibility in terms of distribution. 

Finding the Perfect Length for Your Video Ad

It can be a challenge to develop a video ad of the perfect length. You don’t want it to be too short that vital information is omitted, but not too long that the interest of your viewers is lost. However, you need to keep in mind the purpose behind your video ad, publishing platforms, your audience, and how many resources you can allocate to its development. If you do that, you'll be in a better position to find that "sweet spot" for length. And if you need any assistance, help from an experienced media partner may be just what it takes to raise your video marketing to the next level. To learn more about how to see success with video advertising, considering attending our upcoming webinar.

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March 2nd, 2021 | Tags: Video, Content Marketing |