MIAMI – Short attention spans among people engaging with video ads on social media platforms requires more focus on developing short-form creative instead of repackaging traditional 30-second spots, says GroupM’s Chief Digital Officer, Rob Norman.

He suggests it’s time to start thinking about 10-second commercials “made for their own integrity” as opposed to trimming traditional 30-second spots.

“It’s difficult to stick the ad products of the past in the containers of the present,” Norman says during an interview at the annual Transformation conference of the American Association of Advertising Agencies.

Shorter term, Norman is heartened by what he sees in the first level of results about viewability of ads on social media platforms, as well as the issue of fraud.

“The thing that excites us about it is we’re seeing extremely high percentages of human traffic and extremely high viewability, or at least confirmation of ads in the viewable window,” Norman says. “What we’re not seeing so much is duration of views, which is kind of what we expected.”

This poses a challenge for the creative assets at the disposal of brand marketers. Video ads that do not have a strong beginning hook that can snag viewers into an extended view will need to create “pieces of the proposition, pieces of that brand communication, and let the viewer assemble it over time in much more increments of time,” says Norman.

Such an approach just might give rise to a new definition of earned media.

“In some ways, it will be ‘Well, you pay at three seconds and you’re going to be earning media as people confirm the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth seconds going forward.’ And that may be one of the definitions of success for advertising creative,” Norman says.

Overall, GroupM is enthused with the progress made thus far by major social media platforms.

“Twitter has changed journalism for sure and it’s changed content distribution in much the same way that Facebook has,” says Norman. ” Both of them are becoming very central to a self-curated and peer-recommended media and content experience and that’s pretty exciting all around.”

Targeted ads on social media platforms are very appealing to college students, according to research published by eMarketer.

This video was recorded at the 4A’s Transformation conference in Miami. For additional interviews, please visit this page. Beet.TV’s coverage of the 4A’s was sponsored by The Trade Desk.


4A's Transformation 2016 Miami, presented by The Trade Desk