How to Use 15-Second vs. 30-Second Pre-Roll Video Ads for Ecommerce Retargeting

How to Use 15 Second vs. 30 Second Pre Roll Video Ads for Ecommerce Retargeting

Similar to television advertising, the most effective lengths for in-stream online video ads are 15 and 30-second spots. However, the advantage online video advertising has over TV is that it can be delivered in the form of a pre-roll video ad targeted and personally relevant to a consumer based on his individual shopping behavior.

The marriage of retargeting and video advertising is a match made in marketing heaven. With the help of pre-roll video ads, brands are able to interact with and convert consumers on a deeper, more intimate level, as the ad content is tailored to the viewer based on previous website actions. These engaging video ad experiences also increase site traffic and foster brand loyalty as shoppers visit the site more frequently.

Now that you understand why targeted pre-roll video ads are beneficial to online brands, let’s explore when to use a 15-second versus 30-second video ad to aquire customers.

15-Second Video Ads for Repeat Customers

How to Use 15 Second vs. 30 Second Pre Roll Video Ads for Ecommerce Retargeting“Shop-a-lot” customers have a high impression value because they visit your site and purchase more frequently than any other segment of customer, such as first-time buyers or non-customers. Therefore, a 15-second ad is enough to re-engage the repeat customer, either by showcasing the last product viewed or a related item of a recent purchase.

Let’s use Mrs. Baker as an example. Mrs. Baker spends a good portion of her day in the kitchen, and therefore, spends another large portion of her time on the hunt for new supplies and cooking devices. Having visited your site more than once, Mrs. Baker knows her way around your product pages and already has an idea of what she is looking for before even typing in the URL. She doesn’t require a song and dance to make a purchase; she might need 15-seconds or so to be attracted to a new product or a familiar item. These high-value shoppers are also more inclined to subscribe to a one-click checkout option.

Since a shop-a-lot customer is familiar with your brand, you can save those extra 15-seconds for a prospect that is not.

Use 30-Second Video Ads for Visitors and First-Time Buyers

How to Use 15 Second vs. 30 Second Pre Roll Video Ads for Ecommerce RetargetingThese customers have a lower impression value because they are less familiar with your brand and thus, less likely to convert. On the contrary; first-time buyers are more likely to abandon ship, or shopping cart, than they are to become loyal customers. Whether it is a prospect browsing your site, or a non-committal shopper abandoning his cart, target them with a 30-second ad to deliver your brand message, the last product viewed and perhaps a promo code, to drive them back to your site and make that purchase.

Remember Mrs. Baker from earlier? Well, this time, she is on the hunt for office supplies, something she doesn’t browse for as frequently. So she bounces around from site to site, comparing prices and spending more time reading product descriptions. Since she does not visit the office supply site as frequently as a high-value shopper, such as an office manager, she takes more time to browse the goods in order to become more familiar with the catalog. Enter a longer, more engaging and impactful, 30-second video ad to engage Mrs. Baker and encourage her to make a more well-informed purchase.

It’s simple, really. Today online shoppers have a stronger hand in the marketing thumb war between brand and consumer. Whether it is a frequent shopper or a first-time visitor, every shopper will approach an online site with a selective hand. Retargeted pre-roll ads present each individual consumer with what they want, when they want it, and use the video length best suited for each targeted shopper.

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About Our Contributing Author - Kelly Ford
Kelly Ford, vice president of marketing, SundaySky. A product of both established and emerging organizations, Kelly is a technology marketer and optimist who has built a 18-year career on a passion for breaking new ground. She comes to SundaySky from Operative Media, where, as Senior Vice President of Marketing, she led initiatives to establish and scale the company as the leader in advertising business management, including the acquisition and integration of its primary competitor. Prior to Operative, Kelly headed marketing for LivePerson, leading go-to-market and demand generation initiatives that resulted in 85 percent revenue growth during her tenure. Kelly also previously held senior management roles at Oriel, Groove Networks (now Microsoft) and IBM.As Vice President of Marketing, Kelly sets and executes strategies that build presence and pipeline for SundaySky, and ensure SmartVideo category leadership. Kelly received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Michigan State University.

Please Note: Opinions expressed in this article are those of the contributing author and not necessarily that of

What do you think? ▼
  • StripeyFilms

    I think this is great advice in general, but I'm still not convinced by pre-roll ads. I probably watch 1 out of 10. That said, I've seen too many that are over 1 minute long - I saw one that was 8 mins the other day - what were they thinking?! More backwards thinking from UK video marketers. D'oh!

  • Tim Helfrey

    Is YouTube offering this type of retargeting?

    • Mark Robertson

      You can definitely do retargeting with Google adwords, but I'm not sure with video... good question.

      • Guillem García

        I`m really interested in that... Not ideas yet? Is or would be Youtube offering this service?

      • Martin

        You can retarget using video on the adwords platform, just make sure to add the pre-roll as a creative to the retargeting campaign. If you are using forced pre-roll it has to be <15 sec or it won't serve on YouTube. If you opt -in to using the trueview instream/skippable format the video you use can be of any length.