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How Video Duration Affects Brand Advertising

How Video Duration Affects Brand Advertising

Posted Apr 29, 2020

In the fast pace of the digital world today, it is not easy to manage the best return on investment. There are a lot of variables and advertisers need to make sure they have the right strategy. Frequency, advertising platform, creative, and messaging are some of the common discussion topics. But most advertisers still have questions about the effect of the length of the video to the performance, brand metrics, and engagements. 

With the AdColony Brands’ Best Practices Project, we look at how various variables in relation to the campaign metrics affect the results and success of the campaigns. In the first phase, AdColony analyzed 154 campaigns to understand the correlation between video duration and metrics like Nielsen Brand Study uplift rates, end card engagements, and video metrics. 

As the attention span gets shorter, the creative video copy tends to get shorter too. Shorter videos are effective because users’ time is precious and generally we place ads in front of them when they are doing something else.  We should not presume to take up too much of this valuable time (especially if they didn’t want to initiate the video in the first place). Longer videos present richer storytelling opportunities but place a far higher value exchange on a user’s time (providing the audience chooses to watch it).


  • AdColony observes that as the video duration gets longer, the average uplift rates in brand recall, message association, and more specifically purchase intent increase; although there is no significant increase in Ad Recall. This shows us that the users tend to remember watching the ads no matter how long it is, but the duration affects the mobile users’ ability to understand the content and act on it.
  • In terms of engagement rates, longer videos enable better engagement averages, especially for more complex executions like AdColony’s game Dynamic End Cards (DECs) and Aurora HD Video™. The reason here is that the longer videos give more content to users to understand the product or learn more about the brand, and conscious users are more likely to engage with the campaign. 
  • AdColony does not observe any relation in terms of video completion rates, but there is a slight increase in click-through rates. This study is also an argument in favor of the rewarded video model, as interstitial zones give a skip option after six seconds, which is clearly not enough for target audiences. 

Why Your Videos Should Be 30 Seconds or Less
Much has been said about mobile video formats under eight seconds, a view driven heavily via scrollable social newsfeed environments where attention is fleeting and users swipe and move on from content quickly. However, a TubeMogul study shows that significant user attention can be expected on videos up to 30 seconds – especially when the user has initiated the play.  Videos at over a minute lose almost 60% of your audience so therefore the best window that you can keep your audience’s attention is within the first 30 seconds. 

About The Study & Glossary
The first phase of the AdColony Brands’ Best Practices Project which is the video duration analysis observed 154 campaigns and 233,144 Nielsen Brand Studies across EMEA and Latin America to measure its’ effects on Nielsen Brand Study uplift rates, end card engagements, and video metrics. The second phase of the project to be shared at the beginning of Q3 will be about industry analysis effects on the results/success of the campaigns. Download the Glossary to better understand the metrics used in this study.

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