Audio Advertisers: It’s Time To Make Spots Much Shorter

This was the headline: “Fox adopting YouTube’s Six Second Ad Format.”

“This is the first time that a broadcast television company has committed to the ad format, which YouTube introduced last year,” the companies said.

That means Fox TV will be airing six second spots across its platforms, including linear television.

And don’t think that this trend will stop there, folks.

At my hivio event last year I presented research which explicitly tested what consumers – listeners – wanted to hear from ad-supported audio platforms (you can watch the whole presentation here). We didn’t test six second spots, but we did test 5 second spots, 15 second spots, 2 second spots, longer spots, and other ad forms.

And the winner was 5 second spots.

But don’t take it from me, take it from the “Wizard of Ads,” Roy Williams:

Here’s what’s happening: I’m airing a 5-second ad every hour, 24 hours a day, for 365 days, on each station in a broadcast group in a major city. The result will be 51% reach (18+) with a weekly frequency of 10.4. This means that 51% of the total population in that region will hear one of my ads an average of 10.4 times each week, 52 weeks in a row.

And here are the benefits, as described by Roy:

  1. Reach is double what I used to get for the same money.
  2. Frequency is triple what I used to get for the same money.
  3. With a 10.4 weekly frequency, I can safely expect a listener to unconsciously “connect and combine” each of my brandable chunks, nuggets and factoids to create a coherent mental image much bigger than the information found in a single ad. In fact, I expect that within a few months a large percentage of that city will be able to recite meaningful amounts of information about my client.
  4. The 5-second format – combined with 12 new ads in rotation every 6 weeks – will allow me to dodge the audience burn-out bullet.

So you can read the tea leaves and see the future. You can take the advice of your listeners, of me, of Roy Williams, of Fox Television, of YouTube.

Or you could keep selling (or buying) those :30’s and, God forbid, :60’s with a relentless, nostalgic zeal.

And this message is not just for radio. It’s also meant for you, podcast companies with overlong endorsements (i.e., all of you). If you don’t want listeners to skip your ads how about creating spots that are more trouble to skip than to hear?


How about creating spots that are more trouble to skip than to hear?
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Get ready to have your world rocked when Apple data reveals just how little of your spots your listeners are hearing….

Posted in Advertising, agencies, fox, hivio, mark ramsey, radio, radio industry, ramsey-blog, roy williams, sellers, short, spots, trends, tv, wizard of ads, youtube

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