“Push” or “pull” content makes a big difference.
Google recently conducted a test of YouTube pre-roll video length to measure the ad recall and brand favorability of three different length videos (0:15, 0:30 and 2:17). But both the study and AdWeek’s coverage of it failed to note one very important distinction when determining the most effective length for online video—whether the content was “pushed” or “pulled”.
AdWeek’s article presents the study as measuring the effectiveness of content length in influencing these factors. In reality, it appears this study is measuring only “push” content—not “pull” content that consumers voluntarily seek out. The underlying difference here is that the pushed content is an interruption to the viewers. It’s not sought after. Therefore other factors come into play when determining length for pull content vs. push content. For example: Is the ad content appropriate and relevant to the content the audience was originally seeking (i.e., were the Honey Maid spots played prior to video content about healthy snacks for kids or highlights from a recent MMA fight?). This information was also not apparent in the study.
But the biggest unanswered question remains whether the content was created to truly earn consumer engagement or for a traditional ad buy. Pulled content that consumers actually seek out about brands is typically more authentic and is nearly always more effective at influencing the same key metrics than media that interrupts the viewer’s journey—no matter the length.
When determining the appropriate length for content you’re producing, don’t forget to take into consideration whether it will be a push or a pull.