The advertising industry is undergoing substantial disruption. The rise of mobile and proliferation of video formats and advertising channels has led to shorter consumer attention spans and diminished tolerance of longer ads. Capitalising on this trend, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and others are running six-second ads, with Fox aiming to make the format an industry standard across broadcast networks in the US.

As ad lengths shrink, ad budgets continue to shift. Major brands are investing more heavily in short-form ads within their media mix amid growing pressure to efficiently deliver brand messages to consumers. Yet the issue of creative length remains. Advertisers are increasingly asking 'which format will provide me with the best bang for my buck and engage my target audience, effectively deliver my message (rational and emotional), and drive sales for my brand?'

As brands adjust to the demands of digital marketing and strive to create authentic communications that build emotional connections with consumers, questions regarding optimal ad length are now more important than ever. The critical mass building around six-second ads has stirred strong debate among advertisers and creative executives as to whether they are creativity killers or helpful in enforcing a laser-like focus on core product and brand messages.