Shorter six-second TV commercials -- thanks to YouTube in particular -- seem to be in vogue. Yet at the same time we are hearing that for certain TV commercials, longer is better.
One TV franchise can handle both: the NFL.
NBC says research reveals that for the Super Bowl -- which it will carry in 2018 -- 60-second commercials can yield better results among a number of key metrics than 30-second spots, per Ad Age.
The thinking may be this: TV viewers have been trained to more easily accommodate bigger advertising stories when it comes to the Super Bowl. Consumers are keenly aware that the Super Bowl airs new, witty and interesting storytelling ads for products and services.
Still, many creative agency executives may complain that Super Bowl creativity is almost always a vanity play by creators -- especially when it comes to the next-day spin about best creative, scored by USA Today’s long-running Super Bowl creative meter.
On the flip side, what can we make of the six-second spot -- just 10% of those major 60-second Super Bowl commercials?
The answer? It depends. Sometimes we like a snack and at other times, a full-course meal. From a pure content point of view, both messages are part of the NFL's gridiron action.
Many might say modern media messaging has been pushed to new dimensions via digital media. In addition to six-second commercials, there is much diversity with one-, two- and even three-minute product/service video messaging. Some may even call it “native” advertising.
It's worth noting that TV advertising research says 15-second TV spots are roughly 75% as effective as 30-second spots -- at half the cost.
Now we are told that six-second spots can be more effective than slightly longer commercials -- say 15-second and 30-second messaging. And they cost far less.
For the regular NFL football season, Fox has begun to offer six-second commercials for big marketers. T-Mobile has signed on. Last month, Fox offered six-second commercials in its “Teen Choice Awards.”
All this speaks to live -- or nearly live -- TV programming and the demands of TV viewers. Networks might need to factor in major multitasking media behavior in media buys.
Go short or go long. You can still get a media touchdown sometimes.