IAB: Keep Your Mobile Ads Short for Millennials

One finding from a new study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) shouldn’t surprise anyone: Give millennials short, 10-second video ads and brands have a better shot at making an impression.

But another finding did surprise Joe Laszlo, VP of industry initiatives for IAB. Mobile ads longer than 30 seconds are perfectly acceptable among consumers between the age of 35 and 54, and actually do better in terms of brand appeal and persuasion potential.

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“The conventional wisdom is that all video ads on mobile screens must be short in order to resonate with audiences,” Laszlo said in a statement. “Our research shows that for some demographics and some adverting goals this doesn’t hold up. These findings are critical in creating the next generation of multiscreen video advertising.”

And if you remove age from the equation, among all respondents 30-second-long mobile ads were ranked as being more informative than their 10-second counterparts (73% saying so for 30-second spots, 68% saying the same for 10-second ads).

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The study — which IAB conducted with Millward Brown Digital and Tremor Video — had 1,800 people (split evenly between viewing on desktops, smartphones, and tablets) watching 10- and 30-second versions of three different video ads. IAB found that the larger screens do slightly better than smartphones when it comes to informing viewers about brands, and that those over the age of 35 can be better targeted with ads on tablets, compared to either smartphones or PCs.

“Both smartphones and tablets are devices that invite a certain degree of intimacy with the user, so being mindful of best practices in mobile advertising is particularly crucial,” said Juan Lindstrom, director of Millward Brown Digital’s media practice, in a statement. “This study offers important guidance for tailoring multiscreen video ads to best reach key audiences.”

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Ariane Gut, VP and head of insights and analytics for Tremor Video, added: “Mobile video’s combination of sight, sound, motion, and touch provides countless opportunities for marketers to engage consumers in new and unique ways. This study’s results illustrate disparities between generations on how they interact with mobile video ads of different lengths across different screens, giving marketers deeper insight into how to best reach their target audiences.”