The Death of the 30 Second TV Spot

by The Copy Nazi Banned
21 replies
I'm announcing the death of the 30-second TV ad – it is too long, it is bullshit," he said, speaking at the Advertising Week Europe Conference in London last Monday. "Five seconds is the right length. One of the ways of getting noticed is to change the standard unit of consumption, that unit is 30 seconds and it is boring.

Beattie has introduced what he referred to as the "five-second rule", that in the modern technology age of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter consumers have become much quicker at analysing messages.


30 second [TV ads] are ridiculously long, it is a lifetime," he said. "People know within two seconds if they like something. The absorption of information is so fast these days it is amazing.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2013...tv-commercials

I keep telling my clients "cut to the chase". But no...they want 20 minutes or longer of boring-ass video. This guy's right. We get it in a few seconds whether we're interested or not.

Further in that article a TV exec comments -

Because of technology everyone thinks that they can do everything," she said. "We think we can be good photographers or good singers but we can't. Most people are boring. Just because we have technology doesn't mean we can be Picasso or upload the next Abba album, if you know what I mean. [Facebook is a] fantastic huge, free, opportunity, but should brands use Facebook for things that aren't going to make a social impact? I think not.
#death #spot
  • Profile picture of the author Daedalus15
    Great article.

    At first I thought the idea of nothing but 5 second commercials sounded absolutely crazy, but watching the video and hearing Beattie describe a balance between long ads and 5 second ads makes a lot of sense. Thanks for sharing this.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason_V
    The bad news is, YouTube is giving more weight to longer videos now. If you're into YouTube marketing, you should be producing at least 10-20 minute videos.

    He does mention that longer commercials are also an alternative.

    I think overall, the point is: "Don't be boring"
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    • Profile picture of the author Daedalus15
      Originally Posted by Jason_V View Post

      The bad news is, YouTube is giving more weight to longer videos now. If you're into YouTube marketing, you should be producing at least 10-20 minute videos.
      Can you elaborate on this. What do you mean YouTube is giving more weight to longer videos?
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      • Profile picture of the author Jason_V
        Originally Posted by Daedalus15 View Post

        Can you elaborate on this. What do you mean YouTube is giving more weight to longer videos?
        YouTube is now slapping videos that are short in length. If your video is like 30 seconds (unless it is an actual television commercial or actual music video put up by the company or authorized agent of the musician) you're going to get slapped.

        If you use static images in your video, you know the powerpoint type videos? You're going to get slapped. Your videos will basically go to YouTube "purgatory"

        I can't tell you for sure that a video of X length will get slapped as opposed to Y length. However, it seems 10+ minutes are preferred now.

        They are rewarding people who put up actual informative helpful or entertaining videos that last 10-20+ minutes.

        Is this really any surprise? Google has cracked down on "thin sites" YouTube used to be the "Wild West" now they're starting to crack down there too. They even recently cracked down on official music videos for "fake views."

        Obviously there are exceptions to the above, are they going to slap a viral video that is only say 1 minute in length? Of course not, but the kinds of videos that most people who are on this forum or who would be potential clients aren't usually making "viral videos."

        Gone are the days when you could just keyword stuff the description and throw up a 30 second video made from powerpoint and get views/traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author ronrule
    Our two minute TV spots always got better results than the 30 and 60 seconds.

    Web spots might convert differently, but on TV he's nuts... gives you more time for lifestyle B-roll or demoing the use of the product while you're making the pitch.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
    End of America was 45 minutes, and it did 120k names (30k is classified as a winner.)

    So sometimes long is good - something I've seen in my own tests.

    But obviously, it does depend.

    The problem with a lot of ads is they fill out 30 seconds with mindless crap, instead of making every second count.

    My thoughts, at least.

    -Daniel

    P.S. Holy crap, it's the Bat!
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
    Google own Youtube, so it's not surprising they're rolling out their standard filters and content standards.

    -Daniel
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    • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
      Evidently, major advertisers didn't get the memo. 30 and 60-second TV advertisements are alive and well.

      Alex
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  • Profile picture of the author Russ Ramon
    This is coming from testing - successfully, I might add - in 17 niches over the past five years or so (and I am assuming that the above is intended to imply application to online marketing): It all depends on the niche.

    Cutting to the chase is always important, but sometimes, the chase just takes longer in some that others.

    I mean who wants to sit through a Jeff Walker-type product launch spanning 7 days when all they seek is a cure to toe nail fungal infections?

    On the other hand, who can trust a 30-second (to say nothing of 5-second) spiel about a dating and attraction-building product without more details?

    Gary Halbert's "Be a student of markets" rings all the more true here for these reasons.
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    Russ Ramon
    "Do Not Compete. Create."

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    • Profile picture of the author Jason_V
      Originally Posted by Russ Ramon View Post

      This is coming from testing - successfully, I might add - in 17 niches over the past five years or so (and I am assuming that the above is intended to imply application to online marketing): It all depends on the niche.

      Cutting to the chase is always important, but sometimes, the chase just takes longer in some that others.

      I mean who wants to sit through a Jeff Walker-type product launch spanning 7 days when all they seek is a cure to toe nail fungal infections?

      On the other hand, who can trust a 30-second (to say nothing of 5-second) spiel about a dating and attraction-building product without more details?

      Gary Halbert's "Be a student of markets" rings all the more true here for these reasons.
      Russ, I've actually heard (not personal experience) that people in little niches such as "toenail fungus infections" actually have done quite well with Jeff walker type launches.

      I know copywriters love comparing apples and oranges, but Jeff Walker type launches are more about a process than a single part. A video is only a single part to that process. So you can't really compare a 5 second video to a 7 day product launch.
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  • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
    An observation based on various death pronouncements over the years. They are not indicators of an impending demise, but a sign that the supposed ailing format/method isn't being done well.

    When something is really dead or dying, nobody talks about it, they just move on.

    I completely agree about cutting to the chase. There's no time for build up these days. You have to charge hard out of the gates, grab their attention and take 'em on a ride.

    But if you can get their attention, and if you have the skills to hold it, the length of them message should only be limited by the amount of interesting and relevant information you have to convey.

    If you can't hold attention for 30sec, 60sec, 10min, etc., the problem isn't the format, it's the message.

    In a 30sec spot, the first 5 seconds are a commercial for the next 25.
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    • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
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      Originally Posted by Pusateri View Post

      An observation based on various death pronouncements over the years. They are not indicators of an impending demise, but a sign that the supposed ailing format/method isn't being done well.

      When something is really dead or dying, nobody talks about it, they just move on.

      I completely agree about cutting to the chase. There's no time for build up these days. You have to charge hard out of the gates, grab their attention and take 'em on a ride.

      But if you can get their attention, and if you have the skills to hold it, the length of them message should only be limited by the amount of interesting and relevant information you have to convey.

      If you can't hold attention for 30sec, 60sec, 10min, etc., the problem isn't the format, it's the message.

      In a 30sec spot, the first 5 seconds are a commercial for the next 25.
      Of course. Agreed. He's an Ad Man and he's being deliberately provocative, looking to be noticed and get some link-bait. These guys must spend time before their conferences thinking "Now what can I say that's outrageous and will get people talking about me? ...I know...I'll announce the death of the 30-Second spot". Which of course gets us all wondering "Hmm...I wonder if 5 seconds is long enough?"

      I've been applying it to all sorts of products. I could imagine it working quite well with products that have been around forever.

      "Palmolive - it softens hands while you do the dishes. No kidding. Try it. You'll see".
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  • Profile picture of the author deezn
    Apropos to this thread, today on Mashable they ask, if a 6 second teaser for wolverine is enough to get you excited.

    Here is the trailer https://vine.co/v/bDExaiMjJ1F
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    • Profile picture of the author verial
      Originally Posted by deezn View Post

      Apropos to this thread, today on Mashable they ask, if a 6 second teaser for wolverine is enough to get you excited.

      Here is the trailer https://vine.co/v/bDExaiMjJ1F
      Kind of defeats the point when they set it on an infinite loop.
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      • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
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        Originally Posted by verial View Post

        Kind of defeats the point when they set it on an infinite loop.
        Not really. What Deezn above didn't say is that it was a loop for the Vine app .

        Vine enables its users to create and post short video clips with a maximum length of six seconds to share on social networking services - mainly Twitter and Facebook.

        The Wolverine clip serves as the teaser for Tuesday's 20-second teaser for the movie's trailer that arrives Wednesday. He's calling the six seconds of looping video a "tweaser."

        Deezn says
        today on Mashable they ask, if a 6 second teaser for wolverine is enough to get you excited.
        I don't see that at all. Neither in the piece or the (1) comments. Just
        The Wolverine director James Mangold is a big tease.
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        • Profile picture of the author deezn
          Originally Posted by The Copy Nazi View Post

          Not really. What Deezn above didn't say is that it was a loop for the Vine app .

          Vine enables its users to create and post short video clips with a maximum length of six seconds to share on social networking services - mainly Twitter and Facebook.

          The Wolverine clip serves as the teaser for Tuesday's 20-second teaser for the movie's trailer that arrives Wednesday. He's calling the six seconds of looping video a "tweaser."

          Deezn says I don't see that at all. Neither in the piece or the (1) comments. Just
          It was on Mashable's facebook post that asked it, sorry I should have clarified.
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  • Profile picture of the author expresswriters
    Directness!

    It sells!!

    What gets in my way are my clients. They like to rearrange spelling and sentences. Don't touch it...that's why you pay me.
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  • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
    Originally Posted by The Copy Nazi View Post

    Wonderbra ad-man calls time on 30-second TV commercials | Media | guardian.co.uk

    I keep telling my clients "cut to the chase". But no...they want 20 minutes or longer of boring-ass video. This guy's right. We get it in a few seconds whether we're interested or not.

    Further in that article a TV exec comments -
    But just like that video you posted awhile back that was essentially 13 minutes of rambling, it still just depends. I would have LOVED to shred that video - that screenwriting background of mine has me wanting to approach anything scripted with a machete in one hand and a chainsaw in another, all while wielding a red pen clenched between my teeth.

    I agree about getting to the damn point, 'cause that's what I'm all about myself. Sometimes people enjoy the ramble.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Rosa
    There's a pretty cool way to test on youtube ppc... Because you've got 5 seconds before they can click the "skip ad" button.

    If you can get their attention in that time, you've obviously got more of a chance..

    There was one time where a woman was speaking and said something really interesting then told me not to click the button (she pointed to where it said "skip ad")...

    ...waited about 2 seconds and then kept going
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