Average length of an effective TV advert

25th August 2021

Length of a TV Advert

Common lengths for a TV advert are 15 – 30 – 60 seconds.

– 15 second ads

15 – second ads are characterised for keeping people’s attention for longer. This trait is valued nowadays as attention spans are low at the moment and they seem to keep going down. Besides, 15 – second ads can be repurposed on multiple platforms, which increases the chances to reach the targeted audience.

The following TV advert is an example of what a 15-second TV ad would be. Our team produced it for Visqueen, and it is characterised for being short and straight to the point. Once finished, the TV commercial was uploaded to all the social media platforms used by the target audience (young females).

– 30 second ads

30 – second adverts are more informative than the previous ones. Viewers can have a better understanding of the products or services on sale or of the values the company selling them stands for. The additional information may encourage some of them to take action. Besides, these adverts also make it easier for brands to build a connection (emotional or intellectual) with the viewer.

The following TV ad is called “The Ultimate Gardener”. It was also produced by our team to introduce Visqueen’s new line of bin bags to the market. As you can see, it provides more information about the product than the first one but at the same time is short enough to keep the audience engaged without losing their attention.

– 60 second ads

Moving to the 60 – second adverts, most TV commercial production companies have stopped producing them. It has been proved that after about 45 seconds, people start tuning out, which can result in bad brand recall. Besides, production and airtime costs are higher, making it less attractive to invest in these adverts. Who uses these ads then? Only those companies that can’t convey their message or evoke certain emotions in a shorter period of time. An example would be a company intruding new products to the market.

Should all TV commercials stick to these lengths then?

No. Ads of any duration can be successful if the time is used successfully. What would determine the length of your tv adverts are the following factors

  • Attention. Audiences have various attention spans. Some people don’t pay attention to adverts that are too long while others skip short ones. You’ll have to figure out which format your audiences prefer and stick to that length.
  • Knowledge. The content must match the level of knowledge of your targeted audience. Do they need more information to understand the featured product or service? Do they already have an idea of what you’re selling? Their level of knowledge will vary the amount and type of content you add.
  • Emotions. What emotions should the commercial content portray? Can you portray them in a 15 – second ad or do you need more time? These are a few questions you should consider too.
  • Impact. Impact covers the intention and desired outcomes of the commercial. How many seconds do you need to achieve the desired impact?
  • Budget. Your budget is another variable affecting the length of your commercial. Long ads are more expensive than short ads. Depending on the amount of money you have at your disposal, you’ll invest in one or the other.
  • Medium. Lastly, the medium you choose to advertise on (i.e. TV, radio, online…) will dictate the options you have in regards to commercial length.

Wrapping things up

As you can see, determining the best length for your TV commercial is complicated. You not only have to take into account your goals but also your audiences’ characteristics, industry requirements and budget.

Assessing what’s best for your brand should be, therefore, a priority over copying what the competitors are doing.

After reading this blog you may have an idea of which is the best length for your next tv advert. Should you have any other doubt about your next TV advert production, do not hesitate to get in touch. We are happy to help.

Thank you for reading,



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