Original article: Barbara Loynet

For a while now, the answer to the question ‘How long should my video ad be?’ was ‘How long is a piece of string?’ Media experts kept redefining the “golden” length for video ads, but this time (so they say) they think they’ve got it.

How long is a piece of string?

A minute? Too long. Thirty seconds? Try again… The right answer, for the moment at least, is five seconds.

So where does that figure come from?

Let’s start with a little industry insight:

  • Recent studies report that 48% of millennials view videos solely on their mobile devices. 74% of millennials also followed brands on YouTube, highlighting the importance of digital video for marketers and businesses.
  • Facebook and Twitter are great examples of social media driving mobile video consumption. For Twitter, 82% of its users watch videos and 90% do so on mobile devices.
  • Then there’s a plethora of apps – WhatsApp, Snapchat, Viber, etc – that keep interrupting the flow of our lives, or at least our concentration. Mobile tech has reduced our attention span dramatically.

Exchangewire said that “Mobile is a “little and often” medium; and brands need to start thinking about trying to create mobile moments that say one thing, say it quickly, and say it often”.


So before we get hit with the next trend, marketing experts recommend you put all your chips on 5-second video ads! And here’s why…

5 seconds is what the consumer expects

We have been conditioned by mobile apps: think Snapchat’s short-lived videos, Facebook’s video auto-playing feature, YouTube’s 5-second video ads before the skip button appears. This 5-second trend has now set a norm of what we expect to see on our mobile devices.


To skip or not to skip?

To Skip or Not To Skip?

5 Second Video Ads make for a good marketer and consumer experience.

Option 1: 10% of your 30-second story gets told, whilst the audience wait for the skip/close button to show

Option 2: 100% of your 5 second video ads gets told, no skip/close button for a better customer experience

Is that really such a difficult choice?

5 Second Video Ads are faster to load and cheaper to make

Consumers on the move using 3G or 4G are paying to download videos through their data allowance. Five-second videos will not only reduce data costs, they will also load faster.

But not just that. Marketers should also think of the financial benefit of producing videos 6 times shorter than traditional ones… Not to be overlooked.


5 Second Video Ads could slow ad blocking

There’s now a challenge to marketers that is costing marketers billions: ad blocking. It is estimated that by 2017, a third of Internet users in US will be using ad blockers.

Ad Blocking

According to eMarketer senior analyst Paul Verna: “ Ad blocking is a detriment to the entire advertising ecosystem, affecting mostly publishers, but also marketers, agencies and others whose businesses depend on ad revenue. The best way for the industry to tackle this problem is to deliver compelling ad experiences that consumers won’t want to block”.

Shorter and more condensed ads become less intrusive and give users less incentive to permanently block. Could five second videos therefore be the answer to adblocking?


Has our article on “snackable” videos given you food for thought? Get in touch if you’d like any help producing a five second ad campaign.