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How to make six-second ads work harder
Monday, November 05, 2018

Research reveals how shorter ads impact emotional engagement, and how brands can make the most of the six-second video ad formats on mobile.

NEW YORK and LONDON, Nov. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Teads, The Global Media Platform, has partnered with Realeyes to analyze 166 six-second creatives to understand how to make six-second video content resonate with consumers. The global research initiative tested ad creatives from 75 brands, using facial coding software to measure users' emotional reactions, awarding each ad an EmotionAll® score out of ten. It showed that, while six-second ads have an average View Through Rate (VTR) of 55% on mobile devices, they only see an EmotionAll(®) score of 3.6 compared to 5.1 for longer form (30 second) ads.

Collaborative research from Realeyes reveals that emotional impact from video ads correlates to sales lift with 75% accuracy. This research suggests that six-second ads often struggle to develop a narrative in a short amount of time, which is a key factor in building an emotional connection. Six-second mobile ads that were able to tell a story performed significantly better, scoring a 4.1 with a narrative, compared to 3.1 without.

For Sorin Patilinet, Director of Center of Expertise for Marketing Communications at Mars, which placed 2 videos in the top 3 best performing ads, the 6s format is challenging for marketers but the code has to be cracked: "For over 50 years Mars in partnership with our agencies continuously learned how to use advertising to drive brand growth, in a TV world of long form content. This is no longer enough today. The explosion of short form content caused by the emergence of mobile and erosion of consumer attention have changed the rules of the game. We have to learn how to tell brand stories in shorter formats, and get ready for even shorter formats in the near future."

With mobile video advertising increasing 145% in 2018 to $4.2bn in spend, it has never been more important for brands to make sure mobile video ads are delivering results.

Key findings from the study include:

    --  Six-second ads are weaker than longer form ads are at building a
        narrative and eliciting emotions, but some creatives do manage to
        deliver their message in 6 seconds.
    --  For repurposed TV ads, use pre-testing to select most engaging scene
        from a TV spot. If the story is too complex to condense or a joke that
        requires a setup, brands might consider keeping it longer form, or using
        a display format in order to tell a more descriptive story so as not to
        leave users confused.
    --  Call to action is vital - Just 16% of six-second ad creatives we tested
        included a call to action - a key driver of engagement when time is

Caroline Hugonenc, Global VP Research and Insights, Teads, said "With mobile now the dominant device in our lives, marketers know that 30 second TV spots will no longer cut it for engaging video ads on the small screen. However, what this research reveals is that simply making an ad shorter won't necessarily guarantee performance if the emotional connection is lost. We launched Teads Creative Lab to help brands and advertisers understand exactly how their creatives are performing, and provide technology to optimise them for the small screen, with the right impact."


    1. IAB UK Digital Adspend report, April 2018
    2. comScore, July 2017


Teads, The Global Media Platform.

Teads unites and empowers the best publishers in the world and distributes ads to 1.2 billion people every month within professionally-produced content.

Teads' end-to-end platform delivers full-funnel, outcome-oriented advertising powered by cutting-edge creative technology and AI-driven optimization. Not content with outdated ad experiences in the market, Teads has reinvented digital ads and raised quality standards to delight users, publishers and advertisers.

Teads partners with the leading marketers, agencies and publishers through its team of 720+ people in 26 countries.


Lauren Douglass

VP Marketing N America, Teads

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