Fun Fact: Video Length is Not a Factor


12/14/2023

In a recent yearly review of digital ad performance for a client, we noticed a funny spike. The kind that made most of us around the table go “huh.” (And these were hard-h “huh”s, the ones that just hang there in the room.) Some of the 30-second versions of the YouTube ads in this campaign had significantly higher view rates than their 15-second versions.

So…what’s going on here? Haven’t our phones turned us all into tweakers, never spending more than two seconds on something before it’s dismissed? Don’t we all scan instead of read? Scroll instead of read? Do absolutely anything instead of read? Nobody, living in 2023, except maybe an Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer, should be capable of sitting through a 30-second video—an ad no less—without hitting the skip button. Right? Yet, 15.06%, 9.6% and 11.41% more of the people shown the 30s made it to the end than those who saw the 15s.

Haven’t our phones turned us all into tweakers, never spending more than two seconds on something before it’s dismissed?

Our analytics dynamo and head of the department, Ally was bemused by our “huh”s. The data were surprising to her, sure, but she wasn’t shocked. “Well, we do a very good job of building our audiences to target people who might actually want to watch our stuff,” she surmised. And Emily, the Creative Director on the project, was quick to point out, “It doesn’t hurt that the creative is excellent.”

…a nice piece of proof for something we already know, that if you marry good work with good strategy, you can still grab hold of people on the other side of the screen.

Sure, this is an n of 1, though you could make a case for it being an n of 3. And how does that saying go? Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times is a pattern. We’ll see if this evidence of human beings still having attention spans continues and report back. Or maybe it’s a nice piece of proof for something we already know, that if you marry good work with good strategy, you can still grab hold of people on the other side of the screen. In either case, score one for longer video ads.




Emily Shea wrote the words and coached the talent to make the videos mentioned in this post perform as well as they did.

Ally Bates is our Digital Marketing Manager who turned the dials and pushed the buttons to make the videos mentioned in this post perform as well as they did.

Brett La Frombois is one of our Assoc Creative Directors and the author of this blog post, so just along for the ride, really.

You can reach any of us by clicking on our names if you’re interested in having your video ads outperform expectations.