A few years ago, it was quite common to hear people saying that advertisers shouldn’t just take TV ads and put them online. That, of course, was exactly what happened a lot of the time — not just because it was more economical to do so (TV ads cost a lot to make, so it makes sense to use them in as many places as possible), but also because they often worked just fine on platforms like YouTube.
After all, whilst most TV ads are 30 seconds, many are 15 seconds, which fits nicely as a pre-roll. And, indeed, many TV ads are much longer and only ever get a full showing online.
However, the rise of video on Instagram, Twitter, Vine and, soon, Facebook may well see shorter formats overtake 15- and 30-second spots as the norm. Twitter’s Amplify product allows advertisers to promote exclusive TV content to interested audiences, wrapped in very short (3-5 second) ads. We are already seeing brands make use of Vine; and, it’s hard to believe that a post-IPO Twitter won’t try to monetise that more directly.
One would imagine that Instagram will roll out video ads now that its initial photo product seems to be doing well (and these are likely to keep to the maximumlength of 15, which means many are likely to be much shorter).
And, whilst details are scarce on Facebook’s new product, it just makes sense that the content will need to be short; if viewers have to pause over the video for it to keep playing, then it needs to be punchy, and that is likely to correlate quite highly with brevity.