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A new study commissioned by AOL claims that short-form video advertising (ads that play during webisodes, cat videos, short interviews, etc.) is more effective than long-form advertising (ads that play throughout TV shows, movies, etc. or videos longer than 10 minutes).

The findings contradict the traditional logic that the standard 30-second TV commercial is the most effective in swaying an audience. So, long-form video ads may bring in the most money, don’t they don’t necessarily mean the audience is responding — at least when it comes to online video.

“Consumption habits are evolving rapidly, and we’re seeing consumers display many of the same ad avoidance tendencies online than they do with TV,” said AOL On SVP Ran Harnevo in a statement.

In the last several months, AOL has made it clear that video advertising will be a big part of its growth going forward. The company first announced plans to launch an online TV network for the Huffington Post, and later launched the AOL On network to showcase video content from all its web publications and partners.

AOL said the the study was administered to more than 800 respondents who watch online video on a weekly basis, and results are based on a combination of both quantitative and qualitative methods.

Below are some of the highlights from the study:

  • Ads in short-form videos are more effective than ads in long-form content. More specifically, short-form video produced a 25 percent higher brand recall and a 42 percent higher purchase intent for the featured product or service.
  • Viewers are adopting traditional avoidance behaviors during ads within long-form videos. Respondents found the ads to be too frequent and interruptive; as a result, they chose to avoid them altogether (by walking away, going to other sites, multitasking with their phone). This is the same “annoyance” behavior that is demonstrated when viewing television without the use of a DVR.
  • Consumers want more targeted and humorous ads in both formats. In fact, 67 percent of respondents would be willing to be answer a question to make their ads more personalized and enjoyable.
  • Consumers understand the exchange of free content for advertising, but they want to make sure their time tradeoff of watching ads also benefits them. They found coupons, contests and links as the most positive forms of engagement.

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