Between the months of June and August, parents paid 8% less attention to TV back-to-school ads than non-parents, a study by TVision Insights found, according to Advertising Age.
Target captured the most attention on TV during that period, after launching a Hispanic back-to-school ad in addition to its English spot — the first time the retailer has ever done so, Advertising Age reported.
Dan Schiffman, chief revenue officer and co-founder of TVision, told Advertising Age that Target snatched a 29% share of viewers’ attention, compared to Walmart’s 17.6%, and ran primarily 15-second spots, compared to Walmart’s 30-second ads.
The biggest takeaway from this study is that Target succeeded not only by broadening its target customer base, but also by using shorter ads with exciting, easy-to-understand messages.
"Target ads were poppy, colorful, simple, with lots of kids," Schiffman told Advertising Age. Indeed, the push toward shorter video advertising — both on TV and online — seems to be spreading among marketers, although some reports claim that the shorter video formats don’t allow marketers to make an emotional connection with viewers.
While emotional connections and strong brand relationships are important to millennials and Gen Z respectively, studies have revealed an increasingly short attention span for the young generations. A study by ContentSquare estimates that Gen Z’s attention span is shorter than five seconds, giving credence to the shift toward 15-second spots rather than more traditional 30 or 60-second ads.
"Super short videos have disrupted the world of video marketing and will continue to play a pivotal role throughout 2017," Jaclyn Rose, digital marketing lead at G2 Crowd, told Marketing Dive in February. "The 10-seconds-or-less video format has capitalized on today’s increasingly short attention spans."
The news can only be good for Target, which faces tough competition between stalwart Walmart on one hand and e-commerce giant Amazon on the other. That’s not to mention that consumers ranked Amazon first for both early and late back-to-school shopping, while Walmart and Walmart.com were second on each respective list, according to a survey conducted by brand loyalty research consultancy firm Brand Keys.
"In an age of limited attention, where catchy titles, top ‘X’ lists and edgy headlines drive our engagement, Target is harnessing that, relying on shorter ads, brighter colors, catchy graphics and a simple storyline to get the audience to look at and retain glued to the screen," Schiffman told Advertising Age.