The Rise of Longer Ad Formats in Television

A new study shows surprising growth in longer television ad formats.  Conducted by Southern California-based research firm, DRMetrix, the study finds 2018 year-over-year growth in the number of 45 second spots grew by 583.86%, 75 second spots grew by 184.62%, and 180 second spots grew by 487.03%.  This is some of the interesting data that has surfaced in DRMetrix’s new AdSphere 5 x 5 industry study that is being released next week to attendees of the PDMI-West event.  The study trends data across 5 years (2015 – 2019) and across 5 different segments of direct-response-television and brand-direct advertising.

For its analysis, DRMetrix’s AdSphere system was used to monitor 130 national networks using state-of-the-art automated content recognition (ACR) and included in its study any ad that provided a phone number, web address, mobile SMS code or app store logo from Apple or Google.  “What’s unique about this group of advertisers is that they have the ability to immediately measure consumer response to their commercials allowing them to quantify differences in overall response to different ad formats.” said Joseph Gray, CEO of DRMetrix.   “These types of advertisers have discovered what direct-response-television advertisers have known for decades – that longer ad formats are more effective.”

In explaining his latter point, Gray invoked David Ogilvy, the man whom many consider the father of modern advertising. In a famous speech called “We sell or else” from the 1960s, Ogilvy lauded the value of direct-response advertising and predicted the worlds of direct response and general advertising were on a collision course.

“Ogilvy recognized that longer ad formats on television were more effective than shorter formats and that direct response advertisers were unique in their ability to determine which aspects of their television buys were actually working,” Gray said. “He famously remarked, ‘You know to a dollar’ what you are spending.”

Ogilvy also predicted the practitioners of general advertising would one day learn from the experience of the direct-response industry and stated it would be within the power of direct-response practitioners to rescue the advertising business from its “manifold lunacies.”

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