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Planning a Short Video Advert? - Think Again

Mediaweek reports that the typical ad agency conventional wisdom regarding video advertising length in new media is all wrong. Why? Longer is actually better. It's therefore proof positive for a change -- new media requires new thinking.

That's according to a new whitepaper presented at the Advertising Research Foundation's Audience Measurement Symposium in New York by The Atlas Institute, a division of aQuantive. The new report, Introduction to Brand Exposure Duration, finds that viewers of both video on demand (VOD) content delivered via cable boxes and video delivered on the Web actually gravitate to longer ad spots, and that advertisers have more to gain by producing longer form creative executions.

That flies in the face of most of the industry's thinking, which has generally been summed up as "shorter is better" when it comes to new video distribution outlets. In fact, while many brands have been repurposing their existing 30-second TV spots for these platforms, the consensus has been that 15, 10, or even five-second ads would become the norm down the road, as advertisers work to capture the short attention spans common to these media.

Not so, says John Chandler-Pepelnjak, the author of the new report, who emphasized that for advertisers it is all about how much time the most willing-and-interested users spend with a brand, rather than making something palatable for the masses. "If it's something people want to see, they're not as much in a hurry to get it over with," he said. "With all things being equal, a brand planning a two-minute spot should make a four minute spot. The people that are going to watch are going to watch more."

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