Short-form video ads offer 25% better recall than long-form
Michelle Clancy | 18-12-2012

Despite the assumption that ads in long-form online video content are more effective because they're more TV-like, a study from AOL has found that ads in short-form content actually produce significantly higher recall, brand affinity and purchase intent than those in long-form content.

To explore the effect of content length on ad effectiveness, AOL partnered with Qualvu and released a study designed to provide insight into how consumers perceive ads within both long- and short-form premium video content, with ten minutes being the demarcation line between the two. And it turns out that short-form video produced a 25% higher brand recall and a 42% higher purchase intent for the featured product or service.

Unsurprisingly, viewers are adopting traditional avoidance behaviours during ads within long-form videos, AOL found. Long-form video ad viewers are 52% more likely to think the ad detracts from their experience, because they are seen as too frequent and interruptive. As a result, viewers chose to avoid them altogether (by walking away, going to other sites, multitasking with their phone). This is the same "annoyance" behaviour that is demonstrated when viewing television without the use of a DVR.

Meanwhile, almost half of respondents incorrectly believed they saw an ad at the end of the long-form video.

The study also found that consumers want more targeted and humorous ads in both formats. In fact, 67% of respondents would be willing to answer a question to make their ads more personalised and enjoyable.

Consumers also understand the exchange of free content for advertising, but they want to make sure their time trade-off of watching ads also benefits them, AOL noted. Overall, coupons, contests and links were found to be the most positive forms of engagement.