Shorter TV Ads Command More Viewer Attention

Shorter TV commercials are getting slightly higher levels of attention than 30-second commercials.

An analysis of 37,854 TV commercials across 4.7 million TV ad airings, found that from the end of 2017 to early 2018, 10-second commercials earn an “attention” score of 91.0 to 91.5.

By comparison, 30-second spots earned a 90.0 score.

The difference is much more notable when 10-second commercials are compared to 60-second commercials -- which tallied a number of 88.0 to 88.5.

In addition,’s research said that shorter 10-second to 15-second spots grabbed the best “attention” numbers when short-duration TV commercials were placed in the second position -- or second to last -- in a pod of commercials.

Longtime research showed that positives result from running 30-second commercials in the “A” or first position in a commercial pod.



Although this position is desirable to marketers for their messaging, the media research survey says it can be the most disruptive.

Viewers tend to take other actions when watching TV commercials -- changing channels and skipping -- more at the beginning and at the end of the multi-TV commercial pod, according to

When it comes to overall ad creative, the research shows that automotive, travel and movie trailers consistently outperform other categories, in part because the production quality is better.

6 comments about "Shorter TV Ads Command More Viewer Attention".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, October 11, 2018 at 11:45 a.m.

    Of course very short commercfials seem to have more "attentive" audiences when measured in this manner as there is less time for the "viewer" to take overt action that indicates lack of attention. Ultimately the commercial length that generates the most "attention" would be one lasting only one second for exactly the same reason. As for advertising impact and sales motivating power, LOL advertisers pinning their faith in "shorties".

  2. James Smith from J. R. Smith Group, October 11, 2018 at 12:44 p.m.

    Yep, First or A position has its obvious advantages.  Notice, however, the increased frequency of brand X running a 30 unit in first position, followed by a 5-10 sec unit in the last position in the same pod...the bookends strategy?

  3. Steve Berger from Patriot Media Group, October 11, 2018 at 1:06 p.m.

    We have been preaching the value of short length commercials for decades. And in today's day and age of short attention spans, DVR's and multiple screens going at once, short form spots provide both effective and efficient communication. Put the spots in the right environment such as a closed captioning sponsorship and you'll have a stand-alone spot surrounded by program content.

  4. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, October 11, 2018 at 1:32 p.m.

    Steve, in order for stand alone 6-second spots to work for "linear TV" and still maintain the seller's ad revenue expectations, advertisers would have to pay 10 times their current CPMs for longer and more ad effective spots---a very dubious idea. Why? Because you can have only so many breaks in an hour of programing and, with stand alones, alone,  the supply of comercial GRPs available for sale would plummet. Or, if the short commercials were priced based on their length relative to "15s" or "30s", the networks would have to bombard audiences with even heavier doses of cluttered commercials than now, including many of varying lengths with the shorties lost in the ensuing confusion. So, sure, every once in a while a few 6-second spots may pop up---usually in a special event and sold to an advertiser who has almost nothing to say or thinks its "cool" to be on "the cutting edge" of media. But, overall, 6-second commerciqals have luttle prospect of becoming "linear TV's" basic ad unit.

  5. Steve Sternberg from The Sternberg Report, October 11, 2018 at 2:20 p.m.

    This is the type of gibberish research that leads to gibberish headlines. 

  6. John Grono from GAP Research, October 12, 2018 at 8:33 a.m.

    90.0, 90.5, 91.5.

    Looks like regression to the mean to me.   Given that the mean is that high I find this doesn't accord with tomes of similar research.

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