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In Praise Of 5-Second Ads

  • ClickZ, Monday, August 28, 2006 11:15 AM
The five-second ad is coming--into its own. On the Web, today's multitasked consumer has no time to sit through a 30-second ad before a five-minute video clip. Similarly, on TV, consumers with DVRs are used to zipping by a series of commercials in way less than 30 seconds. Thus, the five-second ad. In a broadcast TV study, research shows that DVR users usually fast-forward too far into the show they're watching. Then they have to rewind again, and usually scale it back just enough to see--you guessed it--the last five seconds of the last ad. So what are marketers doing? Placing a lengthy brand image at the end of their TV spot. Some networks are actually selling that last five seconds as an actual spot. On the Web, media companies are asking that we sit through one 30-second spot before viewing content. This is far too long; Web users are used to pages loading instantly and content being free. Eric Picard, a senior product planner at MSN, says internal research shows that consumer tolerance for ads lasts between five and seven seconds. After that, tolerance turns to annoyance. Given that broadband video clips last a short time, five-second ads are a good fit, and they don't exceed consumers' limit. What about longer-form streaming video? Well, even a series of five-second ads would be far more palatable (and lucrative) than fewer, longer sponsorship-type ad packages like those offered earlier by ABC.



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