Faaez Samadi
Jun 12, 2019

Prescriptive video ad formats stifling brand strategy

The six-second ad definitely has a place, but it’s just one part of a proper media plan, said Unruly APAC COO Phil Townend.

Prescriptive video ad formats stifling brand strategy

The dominance of short-form video advertising is stopping brands from building long-term emotional connections with their audiences, according to the latest research from Unruly.

Speaking at MediaCom’s Blink Live conference, Unruly APAC COO Phil Townend presented the video ad tech platform’s research in conjunction with the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising. He focused on the fact that both short-form and long-form videos play different but equally crucial roles when engaging with consumers.

“We often see platforms being prescriptive about all media, and coming up with models that are extremely successful for their platforms, like Facebook and short video,” Townend said. “That might be great for videos on Facebook, but isn’t great for the holistic strategy of the brand.”

Townend pointed to findings highlighting that although six-second ads are great “for the hard sell, [being] the ‘do’ ad,” they’re less effective when it comes to other metrics. Brand recall, for example, peaks between 0-60 seconds and knowledge between 0-30 seconds.

Furthermore, a consumer’s emotional response, which Townend said is the key to effective advertising, increases with the length of an ad up to 180 seconds, as does brand favourability and intent to find out more.

“It’s no longer about the fact that your fabric care product is good, it’s about the emotive family-based ad,” Townend told delegates. “Storytelling is absolutely not dead. Six seconds is enough to make someone laugh,or exhilarate you. To make someone feel proud, or warm or inspired, that takes longer.”

Purchase intent does best between 0-6 seconds, Townend said, meaning the role of the short-form ad is “to get consumers to do something you want them to do, and to remind them you exist”. Brands must create tailored six-seconds with simplified narratives to be effective, not just cut down existing longer videos.

“Social media feeds videos are not to build brands,” he added. “They are to remind people about the brands you have built.”

Short-form ads must also make use of hyper-targeting to be really effective, and be distributed among premium publishers, Townend said.

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