The sweet spot: Analysis finds pharma ad length with best metrics on connected TV

Thirty seconds. That’s the sweet spot for pharma ads on connected TV. Ad tech company Innovid made the discovery in an analysis of the almost 380 billion video advertising impressions served on its platform last year.

Innovid found 30-second video ads performed best on two metrics. First, a higher percentage of people watched 30-second ads to the end. The completion rate for 30-second ads, 83.7%, was a few percentage points higher than for shorter videos. While ads of 30 seconds or less performed comparably, completion rates for longer videos fell off a cliff. Only 63.5% of viewers completed 45-second ads. 

The second metric that favors 30-second ads is click-through rate. When served a 30-second spot, 0.38% of viewers clicked a link to visit an external webpage. The click-through rates for all other video lengths ranged from 0.07% to 0.15%. 

An Innovid spokesperson said the company thinks the finding “has to do with brand stories traditionally fitting into 30-second slots and, as viewers, we've become accustomed to that duration.” The duration is long enough to tell an intriguing story and encourage clicks but not so long that viewers drop out before the call to action. Thirty seconds performs well in other verticals, although Innovid has seen shorter ads achieve higher click-through rates in industries such as retail that have more direct calls to action.

Innovid also looked at metrics for different device types and video formats. The completion rate for connected TV, 91%, far exceeded the figures for desktop, 67.5%, and mobile, 61.9%. Innovid expected connected TV to fare best because most ads served on those devices cannot be skipped. 

Click-through rates for desktop and mobile were similar, coming in at 0.32% and 0.35%, respectively. The engagement rate for interactive connected TV, such as an overlay, branded canvas or expand unit, was higher, 0.89%, than for interactive video, 0.47%. Innovid counted actions such as expanding a panel, clicking through a video gallery or taking an in-unit quiz as engagement. 

The importance of optimizing connected TV ads will increase as viewers—and, by extension, advertisers—continue to drift away from linear TV. Innovid said connected TV’s share of impressions among pharma advertisers has risen 36% since 2019. Connected TV accounted for 45% of the pharma video impressions tracked by Innovid, trailed by mobile, 37%, and desktop, 18%.