Effectiveness of Different TV Commercial Lengths

Mi hui Pak

Past research comparing :15s commercials with :30s found that :15s typically achieved around 75% recall of :30s ads (ARS, 2002; Young, 2008). Weinblatt (2002) argues that the :15s spots had such high recall rates in past studies because the ads tested in the 1980s were cutdowns of already familiar :30s commercials and tested with only one :15s per commercial pod.

More recent research by Ameritest (Young, 2008), found that:

  • :15s are roughly 80% as effective as :30s in generating attention.
  • :15s have ¾ as many peak branding moments as :30s commercials (more peaks suggest more information processing and more enjoyment of the commercial).
  • Shorter ads have "tighter creative focus" and "tend to have more peaks per unit of time and therefore generate proportionally higher attention" (p. 47).

However, the latest research by copy-testing firm, Ameritest (Neff, 2010), found:

  • "a marked decrease in ad effectiveness for 15's vs. 30's, particularly for OTC brands."
  • the average number of people paying attention to ads fell from 44% with 30's to 38% with 15s across all ad categories.