Friday, January 30, 2009

Short attention span theater: The one second ad

In an email conversation last night, Wes Meador of our Media group mentioned the Miller Brewing Company's plans to air one-second ads in this weekend's Super Bowl (see here for prior post on Super Bowl ad). 

A one-second ad? When does an ad become subliminal?

Actually, the ad almost appears to be secondary to the ad format. In an interview on the subject during NPR's Marketplace segment,  the format appears to be part of a buzz strategy (not the "please drink irresponsibly" kind). Miller wants its ads to be part of the annual pre- and post-Super Bowl ad discussions (like this I suppose) this year, they are trying a format experiment.

Of course, like many advertising concepts, the novelty is gone after the first advertiser does it. 

But it does raise a few questions:

  • Might we see ever-shorter formats become standard (remember the novelty of the 15-second spot)? 
  • Will increasing inventories of ad space generate less rigidity among broadcasters in the length of commercials they price and the pricing models they use (is there a rate sheet for a 6 second spot?)?
  • Will the shorter ads be any more effective at generating measurable results than their long-winded brethren?
  • Would a one-second blog post on the topic look like this?: 1-second Miller ad. (Oh wait, that's Twitter!)
Uncertainty of outcome. I guess that's why the play the game.

1 comment:

  1. I thought these Miller spots were great for one reason: they still deliver on the strong idea of the current Miller High Life campaign. Through outstanding strategy, planning or just plain luck, Miller High Life has landed on a really strong concept. So strong at least its attitude can be delivered in 1-second commercials. An approach that should not be attempted lightly and less conceptual advertisers beware - but, alas, they will most likely be the ones to attempt the next round of 1-second ads. RL