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Study: For Ads, Length Matters Less Than Relevance

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When you’re stuck waiting on a pre-roll to finish so you can watch the latest episode of Glee, how much does the length of that pre-roll matter? A new study by ad platform TidalTV analyzes the difference in performance between 15-second ads and 30-second ads, and after evaluating 28 different advertising campaigns that generated around 62 million impressions, the key issue, they’ve found, has little to do with length.

When confronted by a 30-second ad as opposed to a 15-second ad, according to TidalTV’s data, audiences have two reactions: clicking away or clicking through. While TidalTV observed that a longer ad lead to a 10-percent drop-off in video completion (VCR), there was an 11-percent increase in click-throughs (CTR).

The major issue is that of relevancy. A 15-second ad targeted to the audience in question will easily outperform a 30-second untargeted ad, but a 30-second targeted ad, while suffering a drop in VCR, will outperform a 15-second untagged ad in click-throughs by 201 percent.

While there’s nothing new to the idea that a targeted ad is more effective than an untargeted ad, the key finding is that when properly targeted, the length of the ad isn’t as important a factor. TidalTV chief scientist Kevin Haley commented via email: “The bottom line is that combining both targeting and the right creative, video length can really have a significant impact on campaign performance.”

The overall picture supports what a number of studios and publishers are finding: namely, that consumers may be ready to consume a greater number of ads on streaming video, to the point of what they might watch on television.

Picture courtesy of Flickr user PaulPod.

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