Short-form video to be a key growth area for global advertisers in 2019: WARC

Short-form video, usually defined as content under 10 seconds in length, will be a key growth area for global advertising in 2019, as brands become increasingly confident in the format as a means of delivering strategic marketing outcomes, according to WARC’s Marketer’s Toolkit 2019 survey.

While advertisers have experimented in short-form ads for some time, they now provide huge opportunity for marketers. This follows the launch of YouTube’s 6-second bumper format in 2016 and a consensus that shorter, less intrusive formats will be favoured by consumers.

With marketers confident in their ability to accurately measure the ROI of short-form video, an increase of investment is expected: 79 per cent of those taking part in the Marketer’s Toolkit survey said they expect to increase investment in online video over the coming 12 months. Of brands surveyed, 82 per cent agree that short-form video is an effective tool for consumer engagement.

Key findings around short-form video from WARC’s Marketer’s Toolkit 2019 survey reveal that:

  • Short-form video is an effective format for brands. A growing body of evidence suggests that shorter video offers only a minor shortfall in effectiveness versus 15- and 30-second formats, often at a markedly reduced price. 
  • Marketers ought to ensure clarity of purpose of short-form video campaigns. Attempts to cram multiple product and brand messages into the few available seconds are likely to confuse viewers. Ads reinforcing existing marketing messages perform the best. 
  • Brands would be advised to think carefully about their creative approach for short-form video. A crude approach to branding is likely to encourage consumers to skip the ad, while certain softer emotions like warmth and pride are harder to convey in the available timeframe. 
  • Short-form video is influencing the way that campaigns are being planned. Brands are cutting back on volume TV buying, and redirecting that budget into online video. Conversely, short-form video ads are also becoming increasingly prominent in broadcast TV.

Alex Brownsell, Senior Editor, Media, at WARC, commented, “As brands increasingly look towards short-form video, this will have a knock-on effect on the way campaigns and their creative assets are planned. It is likely that we’ll see more of the 6-second spot on broadcast TV.”

Being effective in short-form video is one of the spin-off reports from Marketer’s Toolkit 2019, following WARC’s survey with more than 800 client marketers and agency executives around the world, backed by CMO interviews and WARC’s case studies and best practice guidance.


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