Spot Length and Unaided Recall in Television: Optimizing Media Planning Variables in Advertising Breaks

Josefa D. Martín-Santana

Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Pedro Reinares-Lara and Eva Reinares-Lara

Universidad Rey Juan Carlos


  • A television spot's length influences recall levels, but the change in recall is not proportional to the change in spot length.
  • Spots included in advertising breaks shown midprogram generate three times as much recall as those included in breaks between programs.
  • Inserting spots in low-clutter advertising breaks increases recall by 40 percent, and this advantage is three times greater for spots lasting more than 20 seconds.
  • It is more effective to use long spots in the last position in a break, as the increase in effectiveness always will be far greater than the increase in cost.