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The Effects of Commercial Length On Advertising Impact

What short advertisements can and cannot deliver.

MediaScience is the leading provider of lab-based audience research, incorporating a range of neuro-measures including biometrics, facial expression analysis, eye tracking, EEG, and more. With state-of-the-art labs in New York, Chicago, and Austin, MediaScience is discovering actionable insights in advertising, technology, media, and consumer trends.

Dr. Duane Varan, the global authority of neuromarketing research, founded Audience Labs (formerly the Interactive Television Research Institute) during his tenure at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia, in 2001. In 2005, he launched the Beyond : 30 Project, a consortium exploring the changing media and advertising landscape, and in 2008, he was approached by Disney Media Networks to set up a dedicated custom research lab on a broader scale – and so MediaScience was born. Though he officially left Murdoch in 2015, he continues to maintain some research links with the University of South Australia and has been widely recognised for his innovative contributions to teaching and the neuromarketing industry as evidenced by a long list of awards and over 90 published academic papers in his field.

Below is an abstract from one of his papers about the effects of commercial length on advertising impact, and what short advertisements can and cannot deliver, from the Journal of Advertising Research.

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There are competing explanations for why longer advertisements are remembered better, such as more time to memorize, add branding and claims, tell stories, and get attention, with some acknowledgement of diminishing returns. The authors compared seven-, 15-, 30-, and 60-second versions of the same commercials for their brand recall, advertisement liking, and brand attitude, with additional biometric measures. Seven-second advertisements were almost as effective (measured by unaided recall) as 15-second advertisements and 60 per cent as effective as 30-second advertisements, a finding that confirms and extends a diminishing-returns explanation for recall and other measures of effectiveness, such as advertisement liking. With six-second commercials appearing on television and online, short advertisements can provide an efficient option if used with the knowledge of what they can and cannot deliver.

Click here to see the academic publication.
http://www.journalofadvertisingresearch.com/content/60/1/54