Google has recently published the results of its study on video advertising, which aims at analyzing if, on YouTube, longer content means stronger results.
They've tested real ads for Honey Maid. Specifically, three cuts of varying lengths using TrueView, YouTube's skippable ad format. They measured how people responded to the ads in two key aspects: what people chose to watch and for how long, and how that impacted the brand.
Testing Three Ads
The 15-Second Cut
This was the shortest version of the ad. The product appears at the six-second mark. Either the product or logo is present for a total of five seconds, or 33% of the total runtime.
Google's Assumptions: the short length that this ad has will make it less skippable, without sacrificing narrative or brand lift effectiveness. The balance between story and brand will grab the viewer's attention.
The 30-Second Cut
This cut gives more detail about the story. It has more product shots, but the amount of explicit branding is roughly the same as the 15-second version. The product first appears at the 11-second mark. Either the product or logo is present for a total of 10 seconds, or 30% of the total runtime.
Google's Assumptions: this video will draw viewers into a more in-depth story, but at the same time it´s relatively short. It's the best of both worlds—short enough to grab the viewer's attention and long enough to create a relevant impression.
The Long Cut (2:17 runtime)
This is the longest version. It adds further information about the family's story. The product does not appear until minute 1:17. Either the product or logo is present for only 12 seconds, or just under 9% of the overall runtime.
Google's Assumptions: this version builds tension by emphasizing some of the Gomez family's struggles. As the story reveals more facets of the family, this keeps viewers engaged.
Now, let's take a look at the key findings of the study, regarding which ads people prefer to watch, for how long, and how that impacted the brand.
1) Longer may be stronger.
- The longer cuts were both watched more than the 15-second ad.
- While all three versions performed well, the 30-second ad had the highest view-through rate.
- The longer-form ads were also both more effective in lifting brand favorability than the 15-second ad.
2) Connect length to goals, not just economics.
- The 15-second ad was the only one to trigger significant ad recall across all three cuts.
- Shorter formats can raise awareness, keep the brand at the top of the mind, and create signals that trigger important behaviors.
- It´s important to ponder the gap in performance between ad recall and favorability. Make sure that what you're measuring is connected to your business goals.
3) Don't leave your brand for the end.
-If you are telling longer stories, don't leave your brand to the end.
-To maximize the connection to the brand, find ways to create that connection as the story is revealed. But don't just pop your logo up: this reduces the view-through rate. Instead, create the story in a way that incorporates the brand.
Shorter ads don't necessarily imply that they'll get more attention. The bottomline is, you need to find a creative way to connect your brand with the story you're telling. That's the best way to get and stay in your audience's mind!
We recommend that you review the full report on Google's site. Enjoy it!