IAB Digital Video Ad Effectiveness Case Study

Despite the rapid growth of digital video advertising, marketers are still learning how to use the medium most effectively.  The IAB Research Council undertook a study of a video advertising campaign for a major national retailer brand. This research sought to provide insights into which combinations of lengths and placements of digital video advertising are most effective. The IAB commissioned Millward Brown and Dynamic Logic to undertake this research, which serves as a case study on digital video ad effectiveness. The findings of the study include the following: 

  • 15 seconds appears to be an optimal length for digital video creative in the pre-roll position. 5-second spots had trouble conveying a message; while 30-second spots risked turning off a viewer waiting to watch something else.
  • 30-second spots do well at conveying a complex or emotionally resonant message, but work best in user-initiated placements (where the user must take an action, like clicking on an ad or rolling over an in-text link, to begin playing the ad) where viewers display more patience for long messages.
  • Pre-roll, in-text, and in-banner video ad placements can all contribute to achieving the goals of a campaign; however, different placements may perform optimally with different creative lengths.
As a single campaign case study, the findings here do not represent definitive conclusions. However, they do offer useful guidance for the industry, and point in productive directions for further research in the area of digital video creative length and placement.