JERSEY CITY, NJ: Six-second television ads offer a concentrated branding opportunity for marketers, according to a study by Turner, the media company, and Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience, the research firm.

Beth Rockwood, Turner’s vp/portfolio research and chief of staff, discussed the analysis into these short-form ads during a session at the Advertising Research Foundation’s (ARF) AUDIENCExSCIENCE conference.

“The testing was done in-lab, in-context of programming,” she said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Turner/Nielsen qualify success of six-second spots.)

“Pods of six-second units, along with regular 15- and 30-second pods, were viewed in the context of comedy cable programming on our networks. And we used multiple research approaches to make sure that we fully understood the viewing experience.”

Those tools included biometrics, eye tracking, facial coding and self-reported responses, with a varied pattern of exposure and frequency regarding the six-second spots featured in ad pods – and a focus on the areas of branding, engagement and recall.

Carl Marci, chief neuroscientist at Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience, presented alongside Rockwood, and discussed the “unbranded time” of the various spot lengths – namely, the narrative moments offering context around branding messages.

“Not surprisingly, you have more in 30 seconds, a little less in 15 seconds, and even less in 6 seconds,” Marci explained – an outcome reflecting the time constraints of each format.

Nielsen further discovered through eye tracking that the branding opportunity for six-second spots was about 0.8 seconds, as compared to 1.7 seconds for both 15- and 30-second messages.

“Interestingly,” Marci added, “we didn’t see a bump up in the 30 seconds where there are more branding opportunities ... Of the branding that’s occurring, there is a higher percentage happening with 6 seconds.”

The six-second ads in the Nielsen eye-tracking study “are on the low end of the spectrum in terms of the average time spent in fixation on the branding,” Marci noted.

However, brands such as Nissan and Duracell get the same amount of branding attention in a six-second spot as they do in a 15- or 30-second message.

“There also are under-performing six-second spots … and a reminder you have to actually show your brand in your advertising,” Marci said.

Sourced from WARC