Large Scale Testing Across a Range of Industry Verticals Shows Ad Length is Not a Proxy for Ad Effectiveness Driving ROI


NEW YORK – December 9, 2020 – Marketers are creating larger sets of video assets for deployment to better deal with short attention spans of consumers and to align with the way in which video is viewed. Findings from a new study by MAGNA, IPG Media Lab, and Snap Inc., “Does Every Second Count? Planning Ad Lengths Across Platforms,” demonstrate that some old “truths” about the effectiveness of video ad length performance are no longer accurate. In the early days of short video ads, they were primarily effective at generating awareness and less so when it comes to persuasiveness. Today, however, both short and long video ads have the ability to impact metrics across the purchase funnel. The change can be attributed to the rise of short form premium content, creative tailored for short form viewing, and advertisers simply getting better at communicating in short ads.


Additional key findings of the study include:

  • :06 Seconds Ads 2.0: While shorter video ads are often leveraged to drive awareness, today they can be just as persuasive as their traditional counterpart – the :15 second ad. Controlling for brand, :06 and :15 second ads drove nearly identical lifts in both brand preference (+9% and +10% respectively) and purchase intent (+5% and +4% respectively)
  • Age and Device Agnostic: Ad length performance was very consistent by device, testing the premise that ad lengths should be planned based on screen size. Similarly, short ads were persuasive among both younger and older audiences.
  • Fitting in to Stand Out: Performance of video ad lengths varied most by platform, primarily because of the way video is being consumed on each. 
  • On Snapchat, :15 second ads benefited from low skipping, allowing them to be more memorable. However, :06 ads were able to quickly get their point across to maximize persuasion. Regardless of length, the full screen vertical ads on Snapchat drove more than 2x the lift in awareness than the other platforms tested.
  • On a video aggregator, where skipping is the norm, :06 ads were appreciated by consumers and generally more effective.
  • On an FEP, where skipping is not allowed, and content is more linear TV-like, :15 second ads worked harder.


“As short form premium content has grown, advertisers are evolving their creative mix, so it’s better tailored for short form viewing experiences, which leads to more effective communication in less time and at less cost,” said Jon Stimmel, Chief Investment Officer, UM. “The priority must be for the industry to enable compelling and persuasive ad supported environments for a healthy marketing ecosystem. Understanding the impact of ad length in relation to varying platforms and media types will further propel a brand’s mix in short form premium content and drive improved business outcomes on their plans.”

“This research confirms our hypothesis that upper and lower funnel impact can be achieved in mere seconds via video ads,” said Snap’s VP of Global Agency Partnerships, David Roter. “We were thrilled to validate that Snap’s fullscreen, vertical, immersive video format delivers full funnel efficacy for advertisers.”

In conducting the research, 32 different ad scenarios were tested across three industry verticals, including ads from Estée Lauder, LEGO Systems, Inc., MINI, and a major CPG brand. Experimental design was used across 4 platforms, where consumers were exposed to either a control ad (public service announcement) or a brand ad. Their online behaviors were tracked, and traditional branding metrics assessed via survey after ad exposure. Over 7,700 consumers were interviewed in total.


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MAGNA is the centralized IPG Mediabrands resource that provides strategic investment and media intelligence for agency teams and clients. We utilize our insights, forecasts and strategic relationships to provide clients with a competitive marketplace advantage.

MAGNA harnesses the aggregate power of all IPG media investments to develop go-to-market strategies, designing unique partnerships to drive maximum value for our clients. MAGNA has set the industry standard for more than 60 years by predicting the future of media value. We publish more than 40 annual reports on audience trends, media spend and market demand as well as ad effectiveness.

MAGNA infuses the organization with knowledge that empowers better decision-making. We are a team of experts across five key competencies who support IPG cross-functional teams through: Partnership, Enablement, Accountability and Connectivity. Follow us on Twitter @MAGNAGLOBAL.


About IPG Media Lab

Part of the Interpublic network, the IPG Media Lab identifies and researches innovations and trends that will change the media landscape and how brands engage with their audiences. Since 2006, the Lab has worked with our clients and with industry partners who can help them best adapt to disruptive change. Its expertise, resources and consulting services also help to inform the learnings, strategies and business outcomes of all Interpublic agencies. For more information, please visit or follow @ipglab.


About Snap Inc.

Snap Inc. is a camera company. We believe that reinventing the camera represents our greatest opportunity to improve the way people live and communicate. We contribute to human progress by empowering people to express themselves, live in the moment, learn about the world, and have fun together. For more information, visit



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Media Contact:

Zinnia Gill


Director, Global Corporate Communications

(646) 965-4271

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