Short-Form Ads Capture 8% to 11% More Attention Per Second

 New original research from the ARF and TVision Insights analyzed 3,300 unique six-second ads in first ever in-home study on short-form ad effectiveness


Although short-form ads accounted for only 3% of ad placements, they drove approximately 6% of impressions. On average, short-form ads benefit from a disproportionate share of premium ad placement and advantageous pod position, according to new research from the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) and TVision Insights.

At the recent AUDIENCExSCIENCE conference, the ARF’s Chief Research Officer, Paul Donato, and TVision Insights’ Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer, Dan Schiffman, presented the results of this new primary research around short-form ads, titled “6 Second Ads: Who, How & When to Use.”

According to the research, short-form ad success is driven by strong pod position and structure, less clutter, connection to long-form storytelling, and placement in premium content and primetime slots. Light TV viewers pay the most attention to ads, both long and short form, but short-form ads draw an even higher share of attention per second compared to heavy viewers.

“As the number of six-second ads on television increases, we are seeing a growing interest in this format. Because this research was conducted in-home, as opposed to previous lab research, our findings provide new and unique insights that reflect real-world behavior,” said Paul Donato, CRO at the ARF.

Additional research findings:

  • 70 networks served short-form ads over a 6-month period, but 75% of short-form impressions came from the top ten networks, which served only 45% of the ads
  • Nearly 50% of all short-form ad impressions occurred during prime programming, with just over a third of short-form ads running in primetime
  • Approximately 13% of short-form ads ran alongside a long-form ad in the same program
  • 10% increase in attention for advertisers who run short-form ads adjacent to long-form or in same airing

“TVision measures eyes-on-screen attention to every second of programming and advertising on television. Every time a panelist walks into the room, our technology detects who the viewer is and if they are looking at the screen,” explains Dan Schiffman, CRO at TVision Insights. “This unique methodology allowed us to understand the success of capturing actual eyeballs in actual households, not a lab setting.”

From November 1, 2017, to April 30, 2018, the ARF and TVision Insights analyzed 100,000 unique ad airings among advertisers who ran any six second ads (3,300 of which were short-form ads) with a panel of 2,000 households, totaling over 7,000 viewers. Using eyes-on-screen attention data, they compared short-form ads with long-form ads, testing their overall performance, performance by context (position in pod), age effects, and the impact of pairing the two forms.

The study is a part of the ARF’s How Advertising Works Today (HAW) series of projects, a comprehensive ARF program to advance the science of marketing, which is presented at various ARF events throughout the year, including AUDIENCExSCIENCE.

About the Advertising Research Foundation

Founded more than 80 years ago, the ARF is dedicated to creating, curating, and sharing objective, industry-level advertising research to enable members to make a true impact on their advertising and build marketing leadership within their organizations. It has 400 members from leading brand advertisers, agencies, research firms, and media-tech companies. For more information, please visit

About TVision Insights 

TVision Insights is the television attention measurement company pioneering the way brands, their agencies, and TV networks determine the true value of their video content and advertising. The company’s core technology uses patented computer vision algorithms to passively measure “eyes on screen”, the single most accurate way to measure person-level engagement with video content. Founded by two MIT alumni, TVision Insights is a venture-backed company headquartered in Boston with offices in New York and Tokyo.


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