In Mobile Video Ads, Good Things Must Come in Small Packages
"Short and sweet" will be the name of the game for advertisers as mobile video ads take off, and that will call for some fresh thinking out of the proverbial box. Specifically, creative teams need to "think outside the TV box and take advantage of the interactivity that mobile provides to enhance the consumer experience," AdTheorent's Anthony Iacovone advises.
Rather, marketers will also have to make some changes to accommodate the growth in this up-and-coming format.
Short and Sweet
In this new world, the motto will be "short and sweet" -- as in 15 seconds, said Anthony Iacovone, founder and CEO of AdTheorent.
"Ads longer than 15 seconds should be choice-based -- that is, able to be skipped by the consumer," Iacovone told CRM Buyer.
Within this narrow window, can ads get creative, though? Heck, yes, marketers say -- indeed there is ample evidence of that already.
Creative teams need to "think outside the TV box and take advantage of the interactivity that mobile provides to enhance the consumer experience," Iacovone advises, for example.
Interactive and mobile are already ingrained habits among mobile users thanks to such projects as Coke's interactive "CHOK" campaign in Hong Kong, through which the company ran a television ad in which a bottle cap was "flipped" at the viewer, who would use his or her smartphone to catch the cap. The name for this gesture -- flipping up the phone to catch the cap -- came be called CHOK, and users who caught the right bottle caps would win prizes.
Aimed at teenagers, the ad not only helped to stem a decline in television watching among teens, but it also stepped up their fondness for the Coca-Cola brand.
Simpler campaigns that to hope step up their appeal can think in terms of innovative content that relates to the mobile video ad format, such as Netflix-only content, Craig Palli, chief strategy officer of Fiksu, told CRM Buyer.
"As content options grow, I think advertisers will have increasingly interesting ways to develop smart, engaging ad content," Palli said. "I would not be surprised to see leaders like Facebook who have defined new ad formats to play an increasing role in helping define content to ensure personalized, engaging consumer options."
An Enjoyable Experience
Consider too what the consumer wants from these ads, especially if he or she is a fan of the brand, Adam Lasky, global social media coordinator at Spreadshirt, told CRM Buyer.
People are looking for connection, story and visuals from ads. Sometimes they don't want to buy a product but still enjoy watching a behind-the-scenes video, getting in tune with new designing techniques through the ad or seeing funny commentary.
In short, the video ad must, above all else, be entertaining and not necessarily geared to making a sale.
"This is an interesting time for us from a brand perspective, since we are moving more towards telling stories through our products and designs," Lasky said.
The challenge will be keeping these videos short, especially as mobile video becomes more ubiquitous and platforms such as Facebook open up new vistas for marketers.
Finding What Works
Video is destined to play a bigger and bigger role in both online and mobile advertising, which means creating a rich, immersive experience that tells a story, Edward Boches, professor of advertising at Boston University, told CRM Buyer.
Squeezing all of that into a 15-second format will be difficult for marketers tempted to let loose their creative impulse.
"Right now the best online video is longer format; executions such as 'Dumb Ways to Die' or Evian's 'Baby and Me' are sought out for viewing and sharing despite being ads," Boches explained. "We'll probably see a lot of :30s cut to :15s or perhaps Vine-like quick content."
Who knows: It's possible that consumers and marketers will decide that these longer versions are more desirable -- especially if broadband pricing somehow accommodates the format.
"What always happens when a new medium comes along, social or mobile, is that the industry ports its old ways of doing things and creating content to a new medium and screen," Boches concluded. "Then eventually it figures out what actually works. Often it's not the old model."