9 August 2016

Are we going to see vertical video formats as a trend in the future?

A new trend of watching videos is generating a lot of buzz amongst the digital advertisers. These are skinny and tall videos, rather than the widescreen format normalized by movies and television. We are talking about vertical videos that are bound to change the way we view videos on our smartphones!

A large part of this shift can be attributed to changing consumption habits that are making mobile the norm rather than the exception. That said, it’s clear that mobile video advertising has huge potential for success. When a video plays on a mobile, it completely interrupts and engages the user by taking over the entire screen and assuming the user’s full attention.

However, when the idea of introducing vertical video formats was introduced, it was met by criticism by the experts in the digital industry. But thanks to apps like Meerkat, Twitter-owned Periscope and Snapchat, the media industry is beginning to take vertical video seriously. These social channels proved their critics wrong by witnessing a higher rate of engagement with their users when they decided to go vertical!

That’s because vertical video delivers better results than standard video in environments where people tend to hold their devices upright.The reasons are myriad. For an app like Snapchat, users tend to hold their phones naturally, in vertical mode, the video takes up 100% of the screen and you don’t have to turn the phone, you don’t have to zoom in, you don’t have to expand the window. There are simply no hassles!

The first one to defy the traditional video watching norms was Snapchat. Today, a number of Snapchat advertisers have created vertical video assets for the app, including Burger King, Macy’s and Spike. Snapchat also has channel called Discover which features 14 channels of short-form videos from the likes of CNN, People magazine, BuzzFeed, with a new form of fast-paced, vertical video. Periscope, Meerkat, Mashable and even YouTube have also joined the vertical bandwagon and as the acceptance grows wider, traditional creators and designers are finding ways to adapt to it.

Audi is another brand that has embraced vertical video recently. And the results have been great. The Audi campaign, which was built around the brand’s involvement with the Le Mans motor car race, delivered a big 36% video completion rate, which is 80% higher than the standard automotive industry benchmark, according to its ad tech partner.

As the smartphones become ubiquitous devices, mobile advertising is an opportunity that can’t be missed. And advertisers who embrace this new change are definitely going to have an edge over those who don’t!

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