Big jump in shorter TV spots in Australia

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SYDNEY -- The number of shorter commercials on Australian television has increased markedly in the past five years with those of less than 30 seconds--in practice mostly 15 seconds--jumping 9% to 38%. At the same time 30-second ads have dropped 7% to 57% and ads longer than 30 seconds have decreased from 8% to 5%.

Media monitoring company AIM Data, which produced the survey, says that because commercial air time on the three networks has remained basically the same, viewers are being subjected to more ads. In the past year AIM monitored 651,447 commercials, 8% more than in 1995.

Media directors predict the present trend will eventually produce five-second or 10-second "blitz-verts," although there is already an indication that some advertisers are attempting to break through the clutter by producing much longer commercials.

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