Photo by Frederick M. This marks the first major initiative in commercial length since the introduction of second ads in the mids.
At that time, second ads were the standard commercial length of television replacing second ads in the early s.
In the mids, advertisers were looking for ways to mitigate the spiraling costs of network television. Many advertisers began airing to second ads or airing two different commercials within a second unit.
Besides awareness scores, there were many other discussions about shorter ad messages.
It was thought that second ads would not be as effective in repositioning a brand or introducing a new product. Another concern was that more second ads would add more clutter to commercial pods eventually lowering awareness.
Nonetheless, an argument was made that the youth-targeted MTV, was creating a faster-paced TV format, conducive to shorter ad messages.
The acceptance of second ads grew.
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According to Kantar Media, marked the first time on network television that there were more of second ads Nowadays, as viewers especially younger viewers are migrating to digital and mobile formats, even shorter ad lengths have been introduced.
The challenge was accepted, YouTube began to sell more six-second ads on its website.
In July Facebook said it would begin working with advertisers to create six-second ads. Additionally, a recent study from comScore found online ads that target millennials, have to be only five or six seconds long to have an impact.
Fox said shorter ads would help prevent viewers from channel surfing or skipping ads. Fox adds the shorter ads will translate into shorter ad loads building awareness. Fox later announced it would accept six-second ads for several prominent sporting events including top rated NFL games beginning in September.
Similar to the introduction of second TV ads in the s, the shortened format is not for every brand or ad message. The arguments made 30 years ago are still being made, six-second ads may work to reenforce an existing brand message, but a longer message is required to convey the more involved selling points.
In all likelihood, other TV networks will soon experiment with shortened commercial lengths.
The youthful MTV Generation of the s that ushered in second ads have given way to the youthful YouTube Generation of today and six-second ads.