What can you really communicate in a 6-second video ad?
These days, a lot – as per a new study conducted MAGNA Global, in association with IPG Media Lab, and Snap Inc., as video consumption habits evolve, shorter ads are now proving increasingly effective.
The study analyzed the responses of more than 7,700 respondents across a range of video campaigns in order to determine ad recall, brand favorability, purchase intent and more.
As per the report:
“In the early days of short video ads, they were primarily effective at generating awareness and less so when it comes to persuasiveness. Today, however, both short and long video ads have the ability to impact metrics across the purchase funnel. The change can be attributed to the rise of short form premium content, creative tailored for short form viewing, and advertisers simply getting better at communicating in short ads.”
As users become more accustomed to short-form content overall – through the popularity of Snaps, Stories, and now TikTok clips – that means that video messaging is also now increasingly effective in condensed form, as viewers are more accustomed to this type of viewing.
And that could change your approach to video marketing. Here’s a look at the key findings:
The main point, as noted, is that shorter video ads are now on par with longer video promotions in terms of effectiveness.
“While shorter video ads are often leveraged to drive awareness, today they can be just as persuasive as their traditional counterpart – the :15 second ad. Controlling for brand, :06 and :15 second ads drove nearly identical lifts in both brand preference (+9% and +10% respectively) and purchase intent (+5% and +4% respectively).”
It’s obviously much harder to condense your messaging into a 6-second ad slot, as opposed to a longer 15-second space (or a traditional 30-second TV ad spot), but with consumer behavior changing, it makes sense that shorter, more impactful messaging is now resonating.
The growth of TikTok is particularly relevant in this sense. Now, users are so used to watching quick, 15-second clips, that a 15-second ad can feel long and drawn out, because it’s the same length as the main content itself.
That’s also among the study’s findings – now, 15-second ads can start to feel instrusive for viewers.
So even 15-seconds can now be too much, which is why brands need to be looking to simplify their messaging, and make an impact within just a few seconds.
Given Snapchat’s involvement in the report, the app itself is obviously a key focus, with specific insights relating to Snap’s ad options and how to maximize their impact.
The study found that both 15-second and 6-second ads are memorable on Snap, but the longer variation holds more value in terms of recall.
“On Snapchat, :15 second ads benefited from low skipping, allowing them to be more memorable. However, :06 ads were able to quickly get their point across to maximize persuasion. Regardless of length, the full screen vertical ads on Snapchat drove more than 2x the lift in awareness than the other platforms tested.”
I mean, it’s a Snapchat study, so it’s not surprising that it’s looking to highlight the effectiveness of Snap ads, but the point does raise some relevant considerations for your Snap campaigns, dependent on your focus goals and approach.
The study also found that users are less likely to skip 15-second ads on Snapchat than they are in other video apps.
Most people, I would imagine, do skip 15-second ads where they can, but the data shows that Snap users are less inclined to do so, which could relate to the relevance of Snapchat ads, the quality, or just different user behaviors.
But the study also found that even with 15-second ads being more welcome on Snap, shorter promotions were better in some elements.
The study also found that 6-second ads were significantly more memorable on longer video platforms, where 15-second ads are more likely to be skipped, while they also drove higher purchase intent.
The overall story of the data is fairly clear – users now prefer shorter video ads, and brands need to get better at making them in order to maximize effectiveness.
That won’t be true across the board, and ideally, if budget weren’t a constraint, you’d run a variety of different video promotions and target them at different stages of your purchase journey. But the insights show that shorter ads are becoming more effective, more welcome, and can be just as effective in driving response.
Some interesting considerations for your 2021 planning – you can check out the full study here.
TikTok’s Taking a New Approach to Promoting its Live Stream Shopping Tools in the US
While user interest thus far has been relatively low, TikTok continues to push ahead with its live-stream commerce initiatives, in the hopes that it can replicate the success that it’s seen with such in China in other markets around the world.
After scaling back its live commerce push in Europe, due to various teething problems TikTok’s now taking a new approach in the US, where it will reportedly partner with established live shopping network TalkShopLive to boost awareness of its shopping broadcasts.
TalkShopLive hosts an expanding variety of live shopping streams, covering a range of topics and product categories, and is steadily becoming a popular online product discovery and shopping destination. The platform doesn’t share specific user numbers, but it did note last year that sales made via TalkShopLive broadcasts were increasing at a rate of around 85% month-over-month.
That’s largely been led by an array of popular celebrities signing on to sell goods via the app, including Oprah Winfrey, Paul McCartney, Dolly Parton, Alicia Keys and more.
TikTok will presumably look to form a new partnership with TalkShopLive that will see its own live shopping broadcasts cross-posted to the platform, which would then help it reach more engaged, active shoppers, and further promote its live-stream commerce offerings to this group.
At the same time, TikTok’s also partnering with various influencer agencies to get more popular creators on board with its live shopping tools.
As reported by Rest of World:
“TikTok is partnering with influencer agencies around the world, hoping to build a robust live community with a culture of gifting that can become the app’s next revenue stream. Rest of World spoke to agents based in China, the Middle East, the U.S., and the U.K. — all of whom confirmed that they’re working with TikTok to train their community in the best way to gain an audience, and solicit gifts.”
So on one hand, TikTok’s looking to maximize reach to people who are looking to shop, as opposed to those coming to its app for entertainment, while on the other, it’s working with influencers to help them understand how they can use live shopping broadcasts to make more money in the app.
That’s a much different approach to how TikTok looked to build its live shopping team in the UK, with its aggressive approach to promoting the option eventually turning away both potential partners and shoppers alike.
TikTok has, however, seen success with live shopping in Asian markets, with its live-stream commerce tools seeing growth in Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam.
It’s just the western markets that need to catch up – but will live-stream commerce ever catch on in non-Asian regions? And if not, what’s the difference between the two approaches that’s seen it go massive with some audiences, but flop for others?
Live-stream commerce is huge in China, where the local version of TikTok, called Douyin, has become a key conduit in helping connect streamers to revenue opportunities.
That spells opportunity for social apps – but thus far, TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube have all been forced to dial back their live-stream commerce efforts based on lukewarm audience response.
But TikTok needs to make it happen. The challenge for TikTok is that it can’t insert pre and mid-roll ads into its short video clips, which makes creator revenue share more difficult, as it can’t then directly attribute each ad to the relative performance of a creators’ clip.
That’s not to say that TikTok’s not making money – TikTok brought in $990 million in revenue in Europe alone last year. But without a system to pass on a relevant percentage of that income to creators, eventually, questions will get asked, and like Vine before it, the top stars will want to know why TikTok is making billions on the back of their videos, while they’re fed comparatively tiny amounts from the same.
Again, it’s live-stream commerce that’s been TikTok’s savior in China.
Douyin’, generated $119 billion worth of product sales via live broadcasts in 2021, a 7x increase year-over-year, while the number of users engaging with eCommerce live-streams exceeded 384 million, close to half of the platform’s user base.
It makes sense, then, why TikTok is so keen to ‘make fetch happen’ in western nations as well – but increasingly, it seems as though western users just aren’t interested in buying from streamers online.
The Middle East is showing promise. According to one report, some agencies are gaining traction with popular streamers in the Middle East, which shows that this is not an Asia-only trend. That’s likely buoyed TikTok’s hopes, which may be part of this new push, but it still has its work cut out for it in getting widespread take-up in more regions.
It is possible, of course, and it may still become a bigger thing at some stage. But right now, it’s hard to see how TikTok’s going to get over the initial adoption hump, and gain momentum with its live-stream commerce offerings.
But via initiatives like these, it might, and if it can, that could be a huge boost for TikTok’s broader expansion plans. Because with YouTube gaining traction with Shorts, and adding its own monetization pathway with Shorts ads, you can bet that the top creators are looking in YouTube’s direction as a means to make real money from their creativity.
In essence, TikTok needs live commerce to become a transferable trend – but whether it can make it so remains the key question.
But if it can, that will open up a range of new considerations, for many brands.
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