30-Second Ads – The Transition from Linear to Connected TV

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The 30-second ad became the norm in US households in the 1970s when advertising agencies realized the potential of TV. However, with the changes in technology, viewing habits and the rise of Connected TV, does the 30-second ad still have the same impact as it did decades ago?

In this post, we will discuss the effectiveness of 30 second TV ads and how they have evolved from linear TV to mobile, streaming platforms, and CTV.

The 30-Seconds Ad – How Things Have Changed

The 30-Seconds Ad

The 30-seconds Ad format is still very prevalent to this day, however, linear TV has begun to move towards shorter and more numerous Ads during commercial breaks, whereas 30 sec ads are becoming more and more popular on CTV – A somewhat unforeseen trend.

Over the last half-century or so, traditional TV featured programming which was 30-to-60 minutes in length, split up by several commercial breaks, each featuring several 30-second ads. In terms of a 60-minute program, this generally resulted in around 45 minutes of actual programming and around 15 minutes of advertisements, with a 22 minutes/ 8 minutes split for 30-minute programming.

However, since then, viewing habits have really changed and linear TV has lost its crown as the dominant source of entertainment. These days, many people turn to their smartphones during commercial breaks, instead of paying attention to what is on their TV screen, significantly reducing the impact on TV ads.

This has led to a re-think of how marketers deliver Linear TV ads, so they can be displayed quickly and keep the audience entertained, so they don’t revert to looking at their phone screen.

This revision to the standard TV format has been forced by the introduction of quick delivery platforms such as YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. These platforms have changed the way people consume media, particularly younger generations and this has led to much diversity in terms of how ads are delivered, with 15-second ads now becoming extremely common.

On mobile, the six-second ad is the most prevalent format, when content needs to be delivered rapidly before the ‘skip’ option becomes available.

30 Second Advertising on CTV 

CTV is the exception to this current trend and 30-seconds ads are still the most common format as ad effectiveness can be better measured and audience targeting is much more advanced. The Ad measurement and analytics tools provided by platforms such as The Viewpoint have helped advertisers filter out viewers which are not relevant to their content, meaning the people watching each ad are more likely to engage and view it in its entirety.

Programming on CTV is also generally much longer than linear or mobile, with some programs lasting the full 60 minutes, meaning longer ads are much more digestible for the viewer.

The costs of 30 sec ads can vary based on numerous factors but are generally priced per thousand impressions (CPM). A 30-second ad on national TV averages around $115,000, while the same format on online streaming platforms such as YouTube and Hulu averages between $10-$30, and $20-$60, respectively.

CTV can justify a higher price than such streaming platforms (between $35-$65) as relevant audiences can be targeted much more effectively and these audiences tend to view up to 95% of the ads served as they are not as easy to skip.

How to Achieve an Effective 30-Seconds Ad on CTV

30-Seconds Ad on CTV

As previously stated, the best way to achieve great engagement and ROI on 30 sec ads is by using a dedicated CTV advertising platform that can provide valuable analysis and measurement on each campaign, helping you to optimize and improve targeting on future campaigns.

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