An Experiment by Google
AdWeek recently ran a story that evaluated the findings from a recent experiment conducted by Google. Google’s designed the experiment to evaluate a truism that the web giant continually asserts as a YouTube’s niche in the online, video marketing space. Google constantly champions YouTube as a platform for hosting long-form ad content by linking brand awareness and consideration with the length for which viewers watch an ad. The experiment also complicates an existing truism about the hyperkinetic nature of online advertising, which is “the shorter, the better.” The results from this experiment should inform the practices of video production companies in Boston and beyond, and should be at the forefront of every professional video marketing company.
Graham Crackers and The American Dream
So, what exactly did Google experiment with? The tech giant partnered with Mondelez International (a multinational conglomerate that manages the brand of what was formerly Kraft Foods) to run three different cuts of the same ad. One cut ran for 15 seconds, another for 30, and another for 2 Minutes and 17 seconds. Each cut exemplifies a different, intuitive theory about audience connection.
The theory behind each video goes as follows. The 15 second cut would be skipped less because of the shorter run time, the 30 second would add a layer of complexity to the ad and keep audiences entertained, and the 2 minute 17 second cut would wholly flesh out a complicated story that richly ties brand to narrative while getting skipped the most. Mondelez reported data that contradicts some of these theoretical underpinnings. Here are the most important data from the experiment:
- The 15 second version was the most skipped cut, and least affected brand favorability in a positive manner. Although, it did support ad recall the best.
- Viewers completed watching the 30 second cut more than the 15 or 2 minute 17 second cut. The ad kept folks entertained and created a meaningful impression.
- The longest cut was actually skipped less than the 15 second version, but few viewers watched the entire video.
Google’s interested in developing YouTube as a platform for a specific type of longform advertising, so it naturally makes sense that their executive summary reads, “The challenge is the same now as it was in the beginning of advertising: to figure out how to blend story and brand successfully. This has never been tougher, as we’re now competing to reach people who are hit with thousands of messages a day from every direction. This media pressure can lead brands to feel like everything needs to be faster faster faster. But, as this experiment showed, making ads shorter doesn’t get them more attention—it may get them even less. With a great story, brands can take the time to create a connection, and change a mind.”
But, what’s really interesting to us at Skillman Video Group, is how Google’s analysis corroborates the core values of our practices as a Boston Video Production Company. Skillman Video Group, which has offered Boston video production services for over the past decade, believes that storytelling is essential to online marketing. We want to help your next corporate video accurately communicate the values of your brand.