There’s a lot of chatter and data surrounding the right length for digital video content. Many sources indicate that content shouldn’t be longer than a minute, while some say three minutes. 15 seconds seems to be the optimal length for pre-roll video per IAB. Other sources indicate that if the content is relevant, viewers will watch a full 15-20 minutes.
While keeping it shorter (less than 3 minutes) might be the right solution when it comes to “About us” or “How to” videos, I would lobby that if the video supports the brand message and is based on a compelling idea length shouldn’t matter.
Here are two examples of what I mean. “Once More” is the story of a 1955 VW Beetle that has traveled around the world three times. Truly a mash-up of website, documentary and the ultimate quality brand story for Volkswagen: This video plays like a micro-movie but it pulls you in and doesn’t let go.
The second is the animated story of how Chipotle started its business, was then purchased by McDonald’s, and then bought itself back. (Granted the McDonald’s part isn’t spelled out in the video, but you get the idea). Between the compelling story, stop-motion animation and Willie Nelson’s Coldplay cover it’s hard to look away.
So, the rule of thumb is that there is no rule of thumb. If you have a captivating and compelling brand story to share in well-executed video – size doesn’t matter.