I don’t agree with the notion that a screen is a screen is a screen, that video is video, and that all video ads across all screens should be measured or valued equally. Thus, I was happy to see the recent call for research into the topic of duration weighting in crossmedia video ad measurement by the Media Rating Council, arising from its work on audience-based measurement standards with the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
Thank MRC’s George Ivie and Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Randall Rothenberg for their important industry leadership here.
Simply put, time matters. If we believe in the notion that advertising viewed, heard and experienced by audiences can cause people to change or affirm future buying behaviors, then we also have to assume that the opportunity for audiences to actually experience that advertising -- including how long the ads were or could have been viewed -- really matters. Here are some of my reasons why:
We have tons of data on the effectiveness of 15-, 30- and 60-second video ads. The television industry has supported multiple duration formats for decades, and the industry abounds with research and results of how ads can and do work differently for different campaign objectives depending on their length. Here are some great insights on the topic from ThinkBox.
More than zero doesn’t mean much of anything. Counting ads that are viewed for “more than zero” doesn’t sound like it is in anyone’s best interest, except for companies with a lot of ad viewership under one second.
Six seconds isn’t very much time, either. Forgetting for a moment whether ads viewable for 0.1 seconds can create any value, even six seconds of video ad duration is a pretty challenging format to create any real impact or engagement with a viewer. Not much time to tell a story.
Let’s let the research tell the story of time. Today, we have research tools and analytic capabilities to really drill down into the different impacts and potential of different types of ads on different marketing objectives.
Concepts like “lift” and “incrementality” are no longer just theoretical notions, but are now highly measurable elements in advertising effectiveness. I hope that lots of folks answer the MRC and IAB's call for research here.
What do you think? Should duration matter in video advertising?