How Long Tv Commercials Should Be to Attract Viewers

Marketers have hotly debated the best length for TV commercials for decades.

In today’s constantly-changing television scene, the question is as essential as ever. How long should an advertisement run to attract viewers’ attention and promote your brand while not overstaying their welcome?


The history of television commercial duration has been dramatically impacted by the mass media that came before it.

Commercials followed the guiding principles of radio, the primary media source when TVs first entered the ordinary North American household. As with conventional radio advertising, 60-second TV commercials were the norm in the 1950s.

With the media boom of the 70s, the industry had to adapt – as it had done for decades. Advertisers had to trim their advertisements to fit inside of a 30-second slot back then. The 15-second TV commercial followed shortly after.


According to World Advertising Research Center studies, 30-second advertisements efficiently tap into all three components of a robust brand-building television commercial. It’s enough time to establish an emotional and intellectual bond with the audience.

Thirty seconds is enough time to create a television ad that is innovative, distinctive, and engaging enough to attract the viewer to learn more – that is, to conduct online research, pick up the phone, or drive to the shop and buy the product or service.

The appeal of developing and running advertisements that are longer or shorter than 30 seconds is understandable. Commercials that go longer than 30 seconds are designed to draw attention by allowing advertisers more opportunities to develop and convey a story. Those less than 30 seconds long are intended to be surprising: they are frequently finished before ad haters can zap or whiz through them.


If you have a lot of information to offer, you may consider crafting a 60-second television commercial. These advertisements often give insight, are more informative, and may include many items or services. Because you risk overloading your viewers with too much information, make sure your calls to action are prominent throughout. It is critical to keep repeating phone numbers and websites to inform customers what steps to take.


In short, a variety of variables are contributing to the progressive reduction in commercial duration.

However, shorter does not always imply more efficiency, especially when lengthier advertising is often less expensive per second. A 30-second ad is frequently 75 percent of the cost of a 60-second commercial, so you don’t have to pay twice as much for a more extended ad.

Ultimately, deciding whether to create shorter or lengthy advertisements boils down to your assessment of ad length vs. frequency. For example, you could ask if it’s better to display a buyer one 60-second commercial, two 30-second advertisements, or ten six-second ads.

When creating new campaigns, keep your target demographics in mind and the influence of ad duration.

Furthermore, customers frequently interact with a brand three to five times before making their initial purchase or requesting more information. Short ad spots may be an efficient method to get your foot in the door on a limited budget, especially if you’re getting your brand out there.


Although the “ideal” TV commercial length is still debatable, and the concept of “average TV commercial length” is dwindling, the important takeaway is to choose the length that gives you enough space to convey your brand message to audiences.

If you’re starting from an idea or have a shoot-ready TV commercial script, Boston Video Production has all you need! We offer full-service video production in Boston, including product demonstrations, corporate videos, green screen videos, TV commercials, and more. Contact us today!