- New study by University of San Diego and University of East Anglia rigorously analyses 3,000+ 6 second videos to identify key drivers of success
- UnrulyX Edit Suite uses 10 years’ of emotional insight and facial coding to sharpen, shorten and quickly convert and distribute creative content
Today Unruly, the video marketplace you can trust, announced the launch of UnrulyX Edit Suite – a new suite of creative optimisation tools that allows advertisers to maximise the return on an existing creative investment. UnrulyX Edit Suite quickly turns an existing video asset into new digital formats – helping them to engage new consumers in more environments, with unified brand consistency.
Unruly developed the tools in part to help advertisers take advantage of the explosion and proliferation of the 6 second ad format. In order to understand the key drivers of 6 second success, the News Corp owned company teamed up with the University of San Diego and the University of East Anglia (UEA) to analyse 3,000+ 6 second videos.
The study found that the role of long-form content is not in contention – longer ads have consistently been shown to be more effective. Longer ads allow more information to be conveyed and chronology and causation to be exhibited, which allows for narrative persuasion – a viewer is drawn into a story, leading to better recall and bigger attitude changes.
This suggests that the 6 second mobile format faces more challenges, but some brands have mastered this format, creating very successful short-form ads which convert viewers to buyers. The study looked to identify what drove that success and understand how it could be replicated.
The study’s key findings are:
6 second ads require a narrative rethink
- Don’t be held up by ad and film conventions
- Employ either non-traditional narrative, non-narrative or highly simplified narrative storytelling
- Don’t spell everything out for the viewer – leverage existing knowledge and culture (e.g. character archetypes, genres, existing brand associations or characters) and allow them to infer information
- Use 6 seconds as building blocks for larger story – vignette or serialised storytelling
Distribution and targeting are more important than ever with 6 second ads
- When employing non-traditional storytelling, understanding your audience is critical
- Messages need to be tailored for a specific audience in order to land
- If relying on existing viewer knowledge and inference, knowing who is seeing your ads is critical
- Use of vignette or serialised storytelling requires hyper targeting or retargeting to ensure message makes sense to viewers
Unruly has incorporated these findings into its Short Fix solution – part of UnrulyX Edit Suite which turns an existing video or TVC to a 6, 15, or 30 second edit. Once Unruly’s proprietary UnrulyEQ testing and facial coding has identified the most emotive parts of an ad, Short Fix can create short-form, mobile-optimised content which captures attention.
Unlike other creative optimisation tools, UnrulyX Edit Suite uses rigorous academic findings, emotional data and an in-house creative team to convert ad content and create assets optimised for multiple screens and formats, ready for distribution across Unruly’s brand safe, premium video marketplace – using unique audience targeting to ensure better campaign performance.
Phil Townend, Chief Commercial Officer, APAC said: “The University of San Diego and UEA findings confirm that 6 second ads can be successful – but advertisers need to think outside the box when it comes to narrative. By identifying the most emotionally impactful moments and using those to tell a story, rather than relying on a traditional beginning, middle and end narrative, advertisers can make the most of their existing assets.
“We also now understand just how critical it is to know who is seeing your short-form ad. Creating shorter ads that don’t confirm to a traditional narrative means advertisers need to rely more on existing knowledge and viewer inference – if the ad lands in front of a consumer without this pre-existing knowledge it won’t make any sense and won’t have the desired effect. Viewers will be left confused instead of engaged.”
Kent State identified that cultural understanding of viewers is critical. Last year Unruly incorporated cultural insight, based on work by Hofstede Insights cultural framework and MediaCom’s Cultural Connections research, into its Unruly EQ product set.
“Our cultural insight allows advertisers to build up an extremely accurate picture of the cultural leanings of a market and individuals within that market, and maximise the effectiveness of their video content by reaching audiences with the greatest cultural affinity to their video content. More important than ever for 6 second ads,” said Townend.
In addition to the Short Fix solution, the UnrulyX Edit Suite toolkit also includes:
Vertical Fix – takes an existing horizontal video or TVC and makes it vertical for an immersive mobile viewing experience.
Interscroller Fix – brings existing display ads to life by turning them into animated display assets.
Interactive Fix – creates a range of interactive video experiences such as clickable, shoppable or hotspot videos to drive higher interaction, engagement and click-through rates.
Dr. Colin Campbell, Assistant Professor of Marketing, University of San Diego said “6 seconds ads represent a paradigm shift From 15- and 30-second spots. The same rules simply don’t apply and new understanding is needed to make the most From this abbreviated format. Our findings provide such insight and we’re delighted that Unruly is ahead of the curve by so rapidly bringing the expertise to their clients. Optimized creative plus precise targeting is a surefire recipe for success with 6 second ads.”