Study Shows Shorter Ads Deliver Better Attention On Social Media

A Study Of Nearly 4,000 Respondents Shows That Ads On Twitter Deliver The Most Total Attention, While TikTok Delivers The Strongest Active Attention.

What is the study?

The report, commissioned by Twitter and OMD and carried out by Amplified Intelligence, studied nearly 4,000 respondents in the U.K., France, Canada and Mexico, looking at 16 test ads and “in the wild” ads generating 20,300 views. It used Amplified Intelligence’s technology that measures how much active and passive attention a respondent pays to each ad.

Active and passive attention is an important part of creating ads. If accounts are hoping to drive traffic they must pay attention to active attention of audiences. The study shows that shorter ads which have been specially made for social media feeds are more effective in driving audience attention than longer ad formats.

[Creds: PR week]

What did the study find out?

Twitter overall performed the best in terms of attention both passive and active attention at 5.3 seconds but TikTok followed was the most successful in active attention 

The study showed that interplay between the two types of attention within social media app can impact brand choice and preference. 

Alongside Twitter’s success in levels of attention they also delivered the highest index for post-exposure brand choice and mental availability uplift which means that where active attention is fleeting passive attention can drive up total attention and time on screen for the ad.

Twitter head of agency research Lisa Cowie said :

“Some of the outcomes that we have seen are based on three or four seconds of attention when the ad is great, highly optimised and with upfront branding and products…Shorter, high-impact creative on social absolutely drives up the right exposure of high impact, creative or social, those ads absolutely drives up the mental availability and the right exposure.”

“Until now the ‘passive attention’ seemed like it’s not desirable or positive, but when you’ve got this type of attention you can keep people there longer. You have this interplay between active and passive, which was the unique differentiator for Twitter,” 

Surprisingly the study showed that ad length is not related to the amount of active attention seconds. Ads from 10-15 seconds achieved similar levels of active attention as a 30 second ad. 

Of course due to the differences in how people use different platforms the same asset can perform differently depending on the platform it is viewed on 

Amplified Intelligence founder and chief executive Karen Nelson-Field said “The reality is if an ad isn’t shown the first time for long enough, it does need another occasion for it to sort of sink in, we’ve shown all along that more attention is important for memory retention,” she said. However, she warned that too much frequency can be “a waste” and “the damage is done not to the brand, but it’s done to the efficiency of the campaign.”

“Without a doubt, the amount of passive attention that Twitter gets really pushes the needle in terms of total attention and the ability then for that to translate to mental availability and outcomes. And that’s, that’s rare for a feed, if you like, so that’s probably a good comparison.”

[Creds: PR]

What do these findings mean? 

It’s important for marketeers to take this information into account. More than just putting effort into creating a great ad they must also factor in how the length of the video will affect how it is viewed and the type of platform that it is being shown upon. This will help to level up the post to reach as many of the right people as possible.

Finally, for our previous #SocialShort, click here.