The Death of the 30-Second Commercial

Posted by Katie Fagan on Dec 15, 2015 12:12:00 PM


The 30-second television commercial, once a cornerstone of the iconic advertising professional, has lost its relevance in today’s world. It is fated to become a relic just like cassette players, dial telephones, and VCR’s.

As depicted in Mad Men, TV commercials had their heyday in the 1960s when TV was the main form of advertising and consumers gathered around the TV at the end of each day. A very different time, there were no emails, text messages or social networks to keep up with. There was a clear delineation between work and home life as people were not connected to work in the evenings.

With media outlets so fragmented: subscription services, social media, cable, DVR’s, and the web, agencies are struggling to create new business models to adapt. Many consumers are now watching programming on their smart phones and tablets. The average American watches 55 minutes of programming on their PCs or mobile devices per day. 

Consumers are now time-shifting so they can watch shows on their terms uninterrupted. People don’t want to be interrupted by advertising. They want to engage with it on their own terms, when they’re in consumer mode and thus in the proper mindset to listen to an advertised message.

So then, what sort of brand message is appropriate today? What can a brand do to get its message across to consumers in this new media environment without giving up the massive reach that TV commercials can bring?

The answer isn’t fully yet clear, but one place to start is branded content or native advertising. By sponsoring programming the viewer might want to watch purely for its entertainment value, the brand message does not feel so obvious. The brand message must seem natural and relevant to the content of the site or channel. The emphasis here is on genuine entertainment value and on adopting the voice of the site, or the network the program is showing on. In a strange twist of fate, this move towards branded content is in many ways a return to the roots of broadcast television. Ever wonder why daytime dramas are called “Soaps”?

Perhaps the most interesting new use for video messaging is in a Brand’s social feeds. These platforms are used differently than television. On channels like Facebook and Twitter, the 30 second add makes little sense. Brands don’t need a single piece of content that they can run for a year. They need a new piece of content every single day. Forever. Given this new reality, the natural question is, “How can we cost-effectively create professional content every single day.”

Statistics regarding video are staggering!

  • The average internet user spends 88% more time on a website with video (Source: Mist Media)
  • According to Forbes, 59% of executives would rather watch video than read text.
  • According to Forrester Research it is 50x easier to achieve a page 1 ranking on Google with a video.
  • Enjoyment of video ads increase purchase intent by 97% and brand association by 139% according to Unruly.
  • Having video on the landing page of your site makes it 53% more likely to show up on page 1 of Google(Source: Mist Media)

Businesses small and large now have the power of making great content internally using their smartphone and their internal resources. Using employees and passionate customers will make for great authentic content.

VidMob has now solved a challenge of what to do with this raw content.  VidMob connects the great content sitting on your phone and connects you to professional editors who can skillfully craft your story the way you want it to be told.

So the future of the commercial is in the palm of your hands.

Topics: commercials