Fox is selling nine six-second ad spots to air during the Thanksgiving Day NFL game between Minnesota Vikings and the Detroit Lions, according to Ad Age. The ads will replace a standard commercial break time of two minutes and 20 seconds.
The ads will appear in a “double box” format in view with the gameplay and will be incorporated into commercial breaks at the discretion of the game producer, according to a Fox statement made available to Ad Age. The ads will be priced similarly to 15-second commercials, the report said.
Fox isn’t alone in ramping up its super-short commercial offerings: AMC is also selling six-second ads around its popular “The Walking Dead” TV show, with Microsoft as an early buyer.
Fox has helped lead the charge in bringing six-second ads — popularized online, on platforms like YouTube — into the TV space. It was the first major network to test the format on TV, with quick spots from Duracell and Mars around the Teen Choice Awards earlier this summer. Those initial runs were promising enough that it soon started airing six-second ads for its NFL broadcasts, but the larger slate of spots in place for the marquee Thanksgiving game — a huge ratings draw every year — show the network has a lot of confidence in the continued success of the fledgling format and viewers becoming accustomed to it.
The AMC news shows that big-name brands are also eager to experiment with six-second ads on TV, even as they come with some hefty price tags. Such ads are popular on YouTube and other digital video platforms as bumpers, giving marketers a way to build up a narrative leading into longer 30- or 60-second spots. Translating that sort of structure to broadcast and cable programming points to the ways in which digital advertising is starting to influence TV as the latter channel continues to struggle with issues of cord cutting and viewers’ shortened attention spans.
Even as TV ratings decline overall, including for NFL broadcasts, the channel’s reach and sturdiness are still valued by marketers, especially as digital weathers a rough year with scandals pertaining to ad measurement, brand safety and an overall lack of transparency. Brands’ ad spend on NFL games increased 2% from the year-ago period despite lower viewerships, according to analysis from Standard Media Index reported by Adweek earlier this month.