I don’t need to see any of the other competing Super Bowl commercials to know which one will be the most effective come Sunday. Ford’s 90-second spot will be dominant in part because of its length and in part because of what Ford does with the time.
There is no way that Ford could have drawn viewers into the branding message in a 30-second spot. They took full advantage of the additional seconds to create stronger viewer engagement. The spot’s set-up required an entire minute! You get hooked—or stuck, in the parlance of the commercial--and then Ford segues beautifully into their branding statement.
Yes, the cost of this commercial from a production and media standpoint is greater than for a shorter spot. But the payoff will more than compensate them for their investment. Cutting through the clutter is more difficult today than ever before. The additional seconds combined with the astute use of those seconds combines for an attention-getting, memorable commercial.
Ford is embracing something that DRTV strategists have known for quite some time: Longer length commercials generate more traffic (and, ultimately, sales) and help deliver a more impactful message per dollar spent. We have a significant amount of data to back this up.
No doubt, the Super Bowl will feature a lot of terrific commercials. But before they even signal for that first TV timeout, I’m calling it: Ford will be the big winner.