Last month, Liftoff, a company that claims to be the leading growth acceleration platform for the mobile industry, released an annual report on mobile ad creative.
The study revealed that longer video creative, 31-60 seconds long, tends to perform better than shorter content.
After analysing nearly 1 trillion impressions, 24.5 billion clicks and 240 million installs over a year-long period, they found that the results were better when a longer video was used, compared to shorter counterparts.
Longer video ads are better
Many advertisers may believe that short, snappy videos should outperform something longer. This is because we think that people are in such a rush and have very short attention spans, especially when browsing online. We assume that users want information fast, but actually, when it comes to conversion rates, longer is better.
Fifty percent of the brands reviewed within the report, saw an increase in conversion rates when using 31-60 second videos, compared to ones 30 seconds or less.
Looking back at some experiments Google did over 6 years ago, the results are the same:
Google said, “we’ve found that viewers are certainly willing to watch longer ads: The average length of ads on the YouTube Ads Leaderboard in 2014 averaged three minutes—an increase of 47% vs. 2013. And none of the top ads in 2014 and 2015 were under a minute.”
Google ran an experiment using 3 brand ads, each of the following lengths; 15 seconds, 30 seconds and 2 minutes 17 seconds. The results were as follows:
- The 30 second ad had the highest view-through rate and was the most unskippable
- The 15 second ad had the best ad recall results (the other 2 performed very badly in comparison) but it didn’t change minds
- Only around 15% of people watched the whole 2 minutes and 17 seconds of the long video ad (please note that the brand’s product didn’t appear until 1:17)
- However, brand favourability was better for the longer videos
In this particular test they found that the longer ads were better. Using the time available in the longer ads, they were able to tell the story of the brand, engage the user and really get their attention, rather than just showing a quick, short video that was full of the brand’s logo.
What’s the difference in performance on mobile vs. TV?
They performed similar tests to try and gauge the difference in performance on mobile vs. TV:
This experiment found that a mobile ad doesn’t need to “feel” like an ad to resonate with people. When an ad was fun and engaging and didn’t ram the brand down the viewers’ throats, the brand recall was still the same as the other ads.
They discovered that “Millennials and Gen Z, …love brands. They just don’t like being sold to” (https://youtu.be/6HHgzEGwil4?t=204). It was much more effective to create an ad that didn’t look like an ad, so people didn’t even realise that they were watching an ad or being advertised to. This way they enjoyed watching the content and still remembered the brand from the video that they saw.
- While short ads (around 15 seconds) can perform well for your brand in terms of ad recall they don’t perform in the same way as longer ads
- When opting to create a longer video ad and pay for views, ensure the brand is woven into the early parts of the content, without being too in your face
- Make your content fun and engaging – create a video that people are going to want to watch, that will resonate with the audience, and tells the story of the brand