Mobile is transforming everything we do as consumers, and with the massive growth in mobile video -- particularly when it comes to short-form content -- it's finally starting to transform what we're doing as marketers, too.
From Instagram and Vine, to emerging apps like Qwiki, Tout and Snapchat, users are creating, viewing and sharing a staggering amount of short-form video. Brands like Adidas, Lowe's and others have followed suit, and their branded content is quickly evolving into some of the most popular and shareable short-form mobile video across multiple platforms.
This consumer shift is driving a bit of a creative renaissance in mobile, and that's a good thing. The industry has been comfortable with interruptive ads that have become the "digital norm" for far too long -- and unfortunately we've been applying the same principles and structures to mobile. As new mobile apps and platforms that integrate short-form video continue to emerge, there's a real opportunity for marketers to use both branded content and ads to break out of that paradigm.
Don't Just Repurpose ... Rethink
Some of the best examples of short-form mobile video content come from brands like Target and Marc Jacobs who created unique, imaginative experiences for users. What they didn't do is just trim their 30-second spots. Instead, they thought about what the typical mobile video experience is like -- intimate, with short, but intense spurts of usage -- and came up with ways to layer their message onto it. Understanding the nuances of mobile, like the zooming in tight on people and product shots for the smaller screen, or catching consumers in the first 3 seconds of a spot, are crucial to success.
But why stop at branded content? A company that has already invested time and money in creating video for Vine or Instagram might want to amplify the audience for that content, or even use it as a springboard to drive further engagement. Why not take a short-form mobile video and turn it into an ad, and why not seed that ad across other mobile platforms and apps?
Take Fox and Marvel, for example, when they used Vine to promote "The Wolverine". The six-second video was perfect for quick cuts of movie footage, but there was no time left for a call to action. An ideal marketing scenario would've included the opportunity to give interested viewers the option of checking out the full trailer, as well as ability to reach potential movie-goers with the video even if they weren't on Vine. That should be the functionality inherent in a short-form mobile video ad.
Be Integrated, Not Interruptive
The caveat with turning short-form mobile video content into ads is that marketers need to find the right platforms and technology partners to integrate them in. Currently, Instagram and Vine aren't the platforms for it -- since they don't offer ads, and it's not clear whether they should -- but there are thousands of premium apps with social features that would be an ideal fit. These apps typically use newsfeed or stream formats to deliver their content, and with everyone from Facebook, to LinkedIn and Yahoo testing ads in their mobile feeds, embedding a short, funny or awe-inspiring video into the stream seems like the perfect placement.
At AdColony, we're offering brands this kind of integration with our Instant-Feed™ HD Mobile Video ad unit. It marries the creativity inherent in short-form mobile video with a unique placement that is natural and non-interruptive. It also gives marketers access to a much larger audience for their snappy, well-produced clips and the ability to drive post-view engagement adding measurability to the medium. We think it's the first of what will likely be many opportunities for brands to fully leverage their short-form mobile video moving forward, and will fuel the establishment of short form video as a powerful driver of creative innovation, awareness, engagement and driving measurable action and ROI for the most savvy marketers and brands.
About the Sponsor
Will Kassoy is Chief Executive Officer of AdColony, the leading HD mobile video marketing and monetization platform working with Fortune 500 brands the world's top grossing publishers. Prior to joining AdColony, Will served over 13 years at Activision Blizzard in a variety of strategic and operational leadership roles including Senior Vice President, Global Brand Management for Activision Publishing, where he led Activision's global marketing organization setting long-term product and go-to-market strategies for the biggest franchises in interactive entertainment, including Call of Duty, Guitar Hero, Marvel, James Bond and Tony Hawk.
AdColony is a mobile video advertising company whose proprietary Instant-Play™ technology serves razor sharp, full-screen video ads instantly in HD across its network of iOS and Android apps, eliminating the biggest pain points in mobile video advertising: long load times and grainy, choppy video.