Given the nature of the industry, it’s surprising how relatively few people working in advertising are willing to whip up a bit of a storm at events in order to get some free publicity. Most speakers are happy to focus on weaving in a pitch while trying not to embarrass themselves. Yesterday, however, Trevor Beattie — the man behind French Connection’s controversial FCUK campaign and Wonderbra’s ‘Hello Boys’ ads — stole the show on the first day of Advertising Week Europe, by calling time on the 30 second spot.
“I’m announcing the death of the 30-second TV ad,” Beattie said, according to the Guardian. “It’s too long. It’s bullshit.” Beattie then went on to recommend a new model where ads last only five seconds to fit with our ‘tapas existence’. While a cynic might suggest that Beattie was simply giving a masterclass in PR, there’s no harm in questioning the length of TV ads, particularly when those ads same ads are often repurposed for use online.
If you’ve never seen a five second ad before, here’s one that was created by Adidas:
However, the comments below the fold are the really interesting part. Remember that this is an ad people are talking about, but for the most part the consensus seems to be that the ad is short, unsatisfying and climaxes too quickly: