7 Second Videos are the New 30 Second Videos

Written by Tommy Budhijanto

“In 2015, 38% of people preferred not having sex for a year over giving up their smartphone”

-Ian Wilson, Senior Director Global, Digital and Marketing Development @ Heineken

When you take a look at 2018 and compare it to years prior, it’s safe to say that our mobile phones are proverbially tied to our hips - we can’t seem to live without our phones. We depend on it for basic everyday tasks, such as navigating to our favorite restaurant or sending out an email, and even more cognitive intense tasks, such as mindfulness guided meditation.

And with this shift, several companies large and small, have shifted their budget to advertise online. In the case of Heineken, 20% of their marketing budget was allocated for online and mobile (in 2015), with the goal to increase the online marketing budget to 50%.

The challenge for Heineken was to translate what they know about producing highly creative TV ads and apply it to social and mobile platforms.

What were some of their findings? Most people retain interest for 7 seconds, and most people watch up to 3 seconds.

With more advertisers gaining experience in producing higher quality videos, they are able to retain more of the viewer’s attention. Up to 74% of the value is realized in the first 10 seconds.

Historically, 30 second videos were the gold standard. But when we compare 30 second videos to videos of shorter length, we find that the overall completion rates also increase. Up to 72% of 15-second ads were completed, compared to 67% of 30-second ads.

Marketing Charts

Marketing Charts

At Media Mavics, our proxy for a video’s resonance is measured by the completion rate percentage. The benchmark completion rate is 27%. We confirm the findings where shorter videos (sub 7-seconds) have a higher completion rate than videos of longer length. This also depends on the platform and purpose of the video. While short videos (sub 7-seconds) are optimal for Facebook ads and Instagram stories, short videos are not as successful on Linkedin or Youtube.