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TV ad lengths and how they affect your campaigns

There’s a variety of second lengths we can utilise for TV creatives, each with their own advantages. Let’s explore a selection of the options available to advertisers for some second length inspiration.

30 seconds

  • The traditional and industry standard length, and what all cost per thousand (CPTs) figures work towards. There is no additional cost factor.
  • The most utilised length, covering 53% of all TV spots (BARB: January to October 2018).
  • They allow for a 5 second intro, 20 second story and 5 second call to action (CTA) end frame, a significant amount of time to ensure the CTA can be listened to, heard and remembered.
  • In a world where attention spans are becoming shorter, we’ve seen 30 seconds usage decrease by 3% over the past three years, and 10 seconds increasing by up to 20%.

60 seconds, 90 seconds and even 120 seconds

  • 60 and 90 seconds are more expensive, with factors of x2 and x3 vs 30 seconds, respectively. Therefore, response rates need to be 2 or 3 times better, but they provide the opportunity to evoke emotion and deliver a longer message. 120 seconds are often used by brands to launch products, and can dominate ad breaks, so there is less competition.
  • We can cost effectively utilise longer lengths on lower risk stations, on Sky’s channels. Stations that are forecasted to have less than 100,000 impacts per spot can cost only £350 on average (or even less at £0 when BARB predicts the spots to be zero-rated).

20 seconds and 10 seconds

  • 20 seconds are a great way to reduce airtime costs (85% of the cost of 30 seconds, or even 83% on some ITV stations) whilst still maintaining most of the content of a 30 seconds. This can increase the number of impacts/TVRs by 15%, for the same cost.
  • Whilst 10 seconds cost 50% of 30 seconds (not 33%, as from a TV traffic point of view, they are harder to place), they are great at short, snappy, effective CTAs. We usually recommend that they are utilised alongside 30 seconds versions or longer. 10 seconds is not enough time to talk about the product but can be a great addition to the campaign to increase frequency and increase overall efficiency.

Performance Nano Spots (PNS)

  • PNS, the ARM alternative to sponsorship. Rather than being a nice sidekick to a campaign, in a contextual or effective programme, we treat sponsorship/PNS in the following steps:
  • Taking advantage of the late market and un-sponsored properties. Getting it to work at the right price, which could be less than £1 CPT for an all-time sponsorship.
  • Therefore, increasing frequency and reach to your campaign, at a third of the price.
  • We don’t always have to wait for sponsorship properties to arise. You can sponsor a smaller, effective, Sky station (already on your campaign with regular frequency) at potentially 30% of the CPT, whilst maintaining a similar frequency in addition to a 30 seconds campaign.
  • 5 and 15 second versions are uncommon opportunities due to how ads breaks are made up. In fact, premiums are often in place if you needed a 5 and 15 seconds in the same break.

Second length updates can be a simple but effective way to increase response rates efficiently for TV campaigns. As with any other channel or variable, they are one that can be innovated, as with PNS.

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