Over the past year we’ve seen many of our clients rely more heavily on :15’s in their media lineup. For example, in the QSR category in 2010 nearly half of the media buy consisted of :15’s.

 While digging into our CPG database we found that viewers of :15 ads are more likely to say that the ad didn’t give them enough information about the product – a rating that is negatively correlated with Purchase Intent (see chart below). As you can imagine, this can be especially problematic when advertising a new product, or if your category is particularly feature-driven.

Given these findings, there are scenarios where a :30 may be more appropriate. For example, when an ad’s message is complex or when launching a new product the additional 15 seconds can be the difference between adequately communicating important features and benefits or not. Conversely, a :15 may be most appropriate for “reminder” advertising for better-known brands, or when the communication objective is simple.
In short, if these days it feels like your advertising engine is underpowered, it could be as simple as reevaluating whether your plan is relying too heavily on the fuel of the :15.

Jessica Sanchez is a Research Director at Ameritest.