Our attention spans are short, and advertisers have embraced the 15-second TV advertisement as a viable, lower cost alternative to the traditional 30-second ad. The trend towards shorter ads is also driven by the cross purposing of ads across television and internet/mobile applications. Studies indicate that the impact of the 15 second advertisement when shown on TV and less expensive mobile and web platforms drives the advertising recall rates naturally much higher. As more ads are included in digital and social media platforms, 15 seconds will likely be preferred (or even required) versus a longer 30 second format.

Creating a great 15-Second Ad

The 15 second advertisement work well for simple consumer products with strong brand identities. The most effective approach is to focus on a single strong visual showing the product or service. For products, the focus would be a demonstration of the benefit (polish cleaning wood, for example). Couple this with a memorable audio (simple voice over and jingle reinforcing the product name and benefit) and character or spokesperson and the 15-second ad is as strong as many 30-second ads. The number of impressions are doubled for the same dollar investment. Just remember not to get caught up in situational storylines that take time to explain. Leave that for the 30- or 60-second advertisements.

Here is one of my favorite campaigns. Look at the different approaches to the same creative idea

Good 30-second advertisement:

Good 15 second advertisement:

What are some great examples you have seen of the 15 second ad?

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