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State of the Screens

Do Six-Second Ads Work?

By January 14, 2021No Comments

Big question: Do six-second ads work?

Quick answer: Depends on a few factors, including goal/objective and environment (skippable, etc.).

Unaided ad recall rate when 15s ad is skippable according to MAGNA:

1) 6s – ↑ 17%
2) 15s (skippable) -↑ 11%

6 seconds ads are more memorable where 15 second ad skipping is high

Unaided ad recall rate when neither ad is skippable:

1) 6s – ↑ 16%
2) 15s –↑ 16%

six second ads and 15 seconds ads drive same awareness on full episode players

Brand favorability when neither ad is skippable:

1) 15s – ↑ 5%
2) 6s – ↑ 1%

Purchase intent when neither ad is skippable:

1) 15s – ↑ 6%
2) 6s – ↑ 2%

The bull case for six-second ads: Social ad formats have low attention with an average view time of 1.7s. Developing short ads for this type of environment makes sense.

Quote from Oliver Yonchev – U.S. Managing Director @ Social Chain:
“I believe any advert that’s distributed through a social channel should go through the creative lens of a two-second filter”

Flashback: TVision Insights: 6 Second Ads: Who, How & When to Use

Attention index per second by age for 6s according to TVision:
1) 35-54 – 114
2) 55+ – 111
3) 18-34 – 99
4) <18 – 95

The bear case for six-second ads: Demand for 6s ads in non-social formats appears to have peaked in 2017-18.

Demand for 6 second ads

Share of 6s ads on YouTube according to MediaRadar:
1) 2018 – 20%
2) 2019 – 17%

Share of 6s ads on YouTube


Video: Miller High Life: 1 Second Ad- Super Bowl Ad 2009


More: How Long Should Videos Be: The Ideal Social Video Length for Every Platform

Michael Beach

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.

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