Opinions are forming as to the effectiveness of 6-second television commercials. The jury is still out, but according to this article on MediaPost, don’t count on 6-second commercials to get your message across. With most viewers avoiding commercials by fast-forwarding or multi-tasking, 6 seconds is a waste of everyone’s time—and money. Approximately 40 percent of a typical original scripted prime-time TV series is not viewed live. If this is true, then one-fifth of the cost of a 30-second commercial is too high, unless networks can prove that the brief exposure is worth it. The goal is to have people tune into the TV show, be exposed to the commercial and internalize and remember the message.
We’ve heard that millennials have short attention spans, but the same was said about the MTV generation. Network programming depends more on content duration, but commercials should be more concerned with content pacing. Zipping through YouTube videos is a different kind of viewing than relaxing while watching television.
There may be a venue where 6-second spots can be effective. Six-second commercials might be effective during sports events, when games are viewed live, or as teasers. Otherwise, they are just billboards and not worth a price anywhere near one-fifth the cost of a 30-second spot.
Unless proven, the 15- or 30-second commercials are a better bet than the premium cost of the 6-second blur.
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