Six-second video ads reinforcing previous longer ads increase engagement and perceived brand favorability

Six-second video ads reinforcing previous longer ads increase engagement and perceived brand favorability
09 October 2018 (Edited 09 October 2018)

Findings of new research by the Free Wheel Council for Premium Video - an ad-serving company owned by Comcast - suggest that 6-second video ads are best used as reinforcers following a longer ad - as opposed to as teasers preceding it.

Researchers exposed 4885 participants aged 18-65 to different ad scenarios - 6, 15 and 30-second ads from 6 campaigns by 3 well-known brands - alongside short-form NBC premium video. Scenarios also varied in ad position in sequence, and content length (long vs. short).


  • 6-second ads following 30-second ads increased viewers' perceived happiness, engagement and brand favorability.
  • 6-second ads shown last following short-form content had engagement levels comparable to those of the content itself, and produced highest expressed purchase intent.
  • A sequence of 30-second ads (only) was seen as less enjoyable vs.sequences of 6 or 15-second ads, or mixed sequences of 30, 15, 6-second ads, when shown with short-term video content.
  • 15-second ads only are seen as twice as effective as 6-second ads or 30-second ads only.
  • Exposure to sequential ads of different lengths led to higher brand recall, particularly unaided recall.
  • Researchers found no significant effect of participant age in this study.

So neither longer nor shorter ads are always most effective - it's the sequencing and the match of ad length to content length that count. Good to know.

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