Are Longer Video Ads More Effective? Google Found The Answer

Advertisers have access to an incredible breadth of inventory at their disposal in order to expose their brand to a wide audience. In video alone, advertisers have important decisions to make about which format to pursue.

In their blog on the topic, Google correctly points out that the 30-second ad format came about because of video advertising’s origin in television broadcasting. Today, across different platforms, ads can come in cuts anywhere from six seconds to several minutes.

Testing some of the most common formats on YouTube with different cuts of the same Mondelez ad, Google found that the short 15-second ads generally deliver the best ad recall.


However, as the graphic demonstrates, the longer ads result in more brand favourability.

View-through rates (the percentage of completed views of a skippable ad) were actually higher for the 30-second ad than for either its longer or shorter counterparts.


Google says that the longer formats allow for better storytelling. Though it’s hard to beat that ad recall on the 15-second ad.

The longer-form ads were also both more effective in lifting brand favorability than the 15-second ad. The extra depth and dimension of more complex stories created a more meaningful connection to the brand. For brands moving beyond simple awareness, a longer story may be necessary to persuade people to change how they think.

The deciding factor in this equation may be cost of production and advertising. Having a shorter ad in mind during production can lower costs, and publishers may charge more for longer ads, depending on their cost model.

Ultimately, there’s nothing wrong with being short and sweet. Get the full study here.

About Ben Myers

Ben Myers is a creative digital marketer in Toronto. Contact through Linkedin or @benkmyers on Twitter.

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