ORLANDO, FL: Procter & Gamble, the FMCG manufacturer, is exploring the use of two-second ads in a bid to engage digital consumers.

Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer at P&G, discussed the company’s evolving priorities during a session at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2017 Masters of Marketing Conference.

“For too long, we flooded digital media with 30-second ads, treating it like another form of TV,” he said. (For more details, read WARC’s in-depth report: Every second counts: P&G’s new formula for advertising engagement.)

“But now that we have the data, it shows that the average ad viewing time can be as low as 1.7 seconds. That’s pretty much a blink of an eye, with only 20% of ads viewed for more than two seconds, which is the minimum standard [for viewability].”

This “wake-up call” has encouraged P&G – which owns brands such as Pampers diapers, Gillette shaving products and Crest toothpaste – to try out short-form messaging.

“We stopped wasting money on 30-second ads, and we’re now designing ads to work in two seconds,” Pritchard told the ANA assembly.

New thinking will clearly be required if brands are to successfully make an impression with consumers in just a matter of moments.

“If people are going to watch that for two seconds in a feed, we need to be thinking about: How do we make that more interesting, or find alternative ways within that platform to make things happen?” said Pritchard.

Alongside a shift in ad duration comes the demand for appropriate measurement – an area where out-of-home could be instructive. “Two-second ads have to have very little in them,” Pritchard said.

“They’re pretty much like a billboard. So, you measure it the same way you measure anything else. You can see whether people register the point, whether they create awareness.

“We certainly found that they didn’t register it well with a 30-second [digital] ad because they didn’t watch it, and [then] you can’t get the point.”

Procter & Gamble, emphasised Pritchard, has many goals beyond brevity – including creating new ad formats that fully meet its needs. “We can make a two-second ad work, which we do, but surely we can do better than that,” he said.

“So that’s why we’re challenging ourselves and our partners – and we’re working with Facebook, Instagram, Snap and WeChat, and YouTube – to innovate and create the next generation of digital ads.”

Sourced from WARC