F&B marketers fixation with 30-second digital ads ‘has consumers looking for the skip button’

TubeMogulFood and beverage brands in Southeast Asia are losing the attention of consumers by running digital video ads that are too long, in a practice that illustrates the continuing obsession with TV creative, according to a new study.

While companies outside the region have long known 30 seconds is too long for digital content, marketers in Southeast Asia are still regurgitating TV spots, and suffering as a result.

In its research, ad software firm TubeMogul found completion rates of 30-second spots fell by more than 20% compared with shorter videos.

“Repurposing TV ads is simply not best practice,” TubeMogul director of client services, Asia, Kenneth Chow said. “Outside SEA, UK, US and Australian advertisers have known for a while that 30 seconds is not ideal for online video advertising.

“With mobile such a personal device, consumers don’t have the patience to sit through a 30-second ad and they avoid their data being eaten up by long spots that require large downloads.”

Consumers view 30-second ad spots on desktops as intrusive, he added, and has them “rapidly looking for the skip button as soon as they are permitted to press it”.


The report, TubeMogul’s first SEA-specific vertical report for the food and beverage sector, found 94% of video ads served in SEA food and drink campaigns are 30 seconds in duration, a stark illustration of their fixation with such creative.

“The dominance of 30 second creative is indicative of the tendency for advertisers to repurpose existing TVC’s for use online,” Chow said. “As the market matures, we expect to see 15-second creative (and less) become more prevalent. Especially considering the difference in completion rate performance, which comprises the top two optimisation goals.”

In the meantime, he said small changes to existing creative can be done to ensure success, “even if it’s simply a case of editing an existing spot in shorter format.”

In a further indictment of the sector, TubeMogul also revealed that mobile outperforms desktop on completion and click rates – 74% to 63% and 2.1% to 1.5% respectively. Nevertheless, marketers  continue to focus on desktop ad delivery.

The report found that 55% of all food and drink advertisers serve ads exclusively on desktop, with 45% taking a cross-screen approach.


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