Snapchat partnered with MAGNA and the IPG Media Lab on a joint research study to dispel the myth that 6-second ads aren’t as effective as traditional 15-second spots.
The research1 showed that on Snapchat, shorter ads persuaded more consumers to consider purchasing the products featured in the commercials compared to 15-second ads. We wanted to highlight key learnings from this research as well as offer additional best practices for how advertisers can plan their video buys on Snap.
To evaluate video performance across devices, platforms and ad lengths, MAGNA leveraged a digital-laboratory-based experimental design. They recruited over 7,770 participants from a representative panel on both PC and mobile devices. Panelists’ media habits were evaluated to assign them to a platform: either Snapchat, a video aggregator, or a full-episode player (FEP). Participants were asked to select content to watch during a controlled experience that looked like the real thing while ads were served during the standard intervals in which they would typically appear native to that platform. However, MAGNA was able to control which ads were served to ensure proper randomization and allow for the same brands and creatives to be tested across platforms. All behaviors were tracked and, after the media experience, participants were asked to complete an online survey measuring branding metrics including ad awareness, brand perception, and purchase intent. A diverse group of brands from varying industries with different target audiences were included in this experiment: MINI, Clinique, LEGO, and a major CPG brand.

Regardless of length, full-screen vertical ads on Snapchat drove more than 2x the lift in awareness than other platforms tested.

On Snap, 6-second ads were more persuasive than 15-second ads for both younger and older generations.

This is because shorter ad lengths recorded highly positive perceptions that were equal among both younger and older generations. When 6-second ads were viewed on Snap, the majority of participants considered the ads immersive, innovative, and represented the brand well.

Interestingly, younger people are LESS likely to feel that 15-second ads are “innovative” and “offer new info.”

Shorter-length Snapchat ads were also more persuasive than either lengths tested on other platforms.

15-second ads are still valuable — they increase awareness of new products.
We found that of the ads tested, the ads that marketed a new product saw longer lengths provided greater efficacy on Snapchat. Therefore, new product launches should be a time to consider Extended Play Commercials in your media mix.
Lastly, we wanted to gauge the incrementality we could offer by developing creative custom for Snap, rather than cutting down from longer-length assets.
What we discovered is that creative significantly embodies Snapchat’s creative best practices. Cut-downs and customized creative performed similarly and, when we looked at persuasion across all ads tested, the delta was consistent for the two separate creative executions.

Takeaways for Advertisers

  • Plan for objectives — not length Length is not a predictor of ad efficacy. Instead, consider differences among devices and media channels as a way to optimize media budgets and still achieve your objectives. Snapchat was shown to be more effective at improving both awareness and purchase intent than the OLV platforms tested. Leverage campaign measurement to align on which media channels and selections are able to achieve your specific objectives.
  • Activate commercials on Snapchat to drive persuasion  Regardless of age, 6-second ads were shown to be persuasive on Snapchat.
  • When introducing new products, consider Extended Play Commercials on Snapchat. 
  • Custom creative isn’t necessary, as long as creatives incorporate Snap’s best practices.
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