Thursday, September 14, 2017

6-Second Ad Trend Challenges Political Campaigns

Political campaigns are facing a new challenge in the fast-paced digital ad race. Political marketers, who have honed standard 30-second video ads for TV and online, must now adapt to a trend to 6-second ad spots, reports a recent article in Campaigns & Elections magazine. With public attention spans shortening, corporate marketers are declaring that 6 seconds is a more effective format, especially for reaching "a younger demographic." The article notes that Google’s YouTube has been holding a contest to promote the format, that Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg recently told investors that the length was ideal for sales pitches, and that Fox TV debuted its first ever 6-second ad slots during the "Teen Choice Awards" in August. Although both Democrats and Republicans want to court the "younger demographic" in 2018, political media consultants express misgivings on their ability to leverage the trend, citing concerns about condensing a message into a 6- or 10-second "snackable" ad creative that will still persuade. They worry that even today's micro-targeting of voters will not overcome a poorly executed appeal. "We found the perfect voter," Casey Phillips, a media consultant with a GOP client roster explains for the magazine, "we can buy [what he is watching], but what is it that we’re going to tell him in 10 seconds, and get it done in a way that doesn’t suck. That’s where we're all having problems." Budget limitations pose another hurdle for political marketers.  Political consultants see the costs to produce and edit down 30-second spots into shorter versions, as well as spread those ads across the many available digital and traditional media formats, as putting added strain on campaign budgets in the next election cycle. For more on the trend to "snackable" ads, read

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