The (AD) Times…They Are A-Changin

In this digitally-driven world, everything is moving at rapid pace, and advertising is no exception. We advertisers and marketers are consistently chasing new tools and platforms that can be used to push our brands forward and past the competition. Here at Miller, we consistently take meetings from potential vendors and partners that can help our client succeed, including some hits and some misses.

These changes can be attributed to social media, virtual reality, streaming services and more. Audiences are becoming accustomed to having their wants and needs met in a more immediate fashion. Commercials are more of a nuisance in the age of Netflix and Amazon Prime. This has led to networks and websites, such as YouTube to adapt.

The answer: “bumper ads” a.k.a. six-second spots. A new day is on the horizon, and 60-second spots may not have a place in it. We have seen commercial lengths gradually decrease over time due to what many consider audience attention spans becoming shorter (thank you millenials).

This has forced advertisers to become more creative with their campaigns. According to Business Insider, six-second ads are becoming more widely adopted. YouTube has seen a 70 percent quarter-over-quarter increase of advertisers opting to run six-second ads since 2017’s first quarter. Now, one in three advertisers uses this format. Google has also stated that they will no longer be running ads that are longer than six seconds.

The recent Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig film Downsizing took advantage of this new advertising format with their promotional campaign. Using humor, Matt Damon broke the fourth wall to comment on the “downsizing” of advertising lengths.

It isn’t just online that you are seeing this change. Fox and the NFL have embraced this new format with the Teen Choice Awards on Fox being one of the first programs to feature six-second advertisements during its commercial break.

The NFL has also changed their advertising methods to please what many consider to be a rocky fanbase at the moment don’t worry, we have a blog on this coming soon with fewer commercials during games, but longer breaks. This is because of fan complaints that the frequent commercial breaks of the past have taken away the excitement of watching their favorite teams play.

Their response? Implementation of picture ads that appear on-screen during the game. This allows for advertisements to be displayed simultaneously with the live game. This in itself also brings challenges to advertisers as it is imperative for the ad to be appealing and eye-popping to lure the customers’ focus away from the excitement of the game long enough to pay attention to the ad being displayed.

Big picture, this evolution of the media market and in-return advertising landscape is nothing new. The ads still must grab the attention of the audience and impact them in a meaningful way. The only difference is the stiffer competition for consumer attention, especially if your ad is running picture-in-picture while the Cowboys are playing.