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Vertical Video - Don’t Assume I’ll Rotate My Phone For You

Posted on August 31, 2016
By Kayla Wilson, Director of Programmatic PartnershipsDirector of Programmatic Partnerships
and Clara Planel, Global Director, Brand MarketingGlobal Director, Brand Marketing

While many users are willing to rotate their phones to landscape mode to watch a video, they’re unlikely to take the same action when viewing video ads. Brands have traditionally conceived, created and filmed their ad units horizontally, with TV and desktop in mind and mobile as an afterthought.

Horizontal video ad units only fill 25 percent of a phone’s screen when held in portrait mode. It’s only recently, with the reported 10 billion daily vertical video views on Snapchat, that brands are being forced to change the way they plan, create and film the video for mobile. Why wouldn’t brands want to fill 100 percent of mobile screens without the user having to take any action?

“Our hands are best suited to holding objects vertically, which is why phones, tablets and, in the predigital age, our books and other documents were usually oriented in portrait mode.” Source: The New York Times

Don’t waste space: Vertical video offers 4X better visual effects

Jump into the edge-to-edge experience

Vertical Video delivers a highly engaging TV-like experience in the palm of users’ hands. It’s a true mobile-first experience, with the video filmed in portrait mode (9:16 or 1080x1920 resolution). When AdWeek published the article “Now that Vertical Video is finally legitimate, creatives need to rethink everything” in 2015, it described how some companies are offering tools to resize horizontal videos, to make them vertical. However, as a best practice, the vertical video should be created and filmed with the mobile device in mind, not as an afterthought.

Major publishers such as Hearst, Mashable, Refinery29, Vice, CNN, National Geographic, Food Network, Buzzfeed and many more, have already dedicated resources to creating vertical video content.

Live streaming apps, Periscope and Meerkat, as well as video content player YouTube have also embraced vertical video.

Engaging, Immersive Creative for Mobile

A 360 video compliments vertical video and is best experienced on a mobile device, where the user can touch the screen, or tilt their phone around to see different camera angles. Now that Google’s YouTube supports 360 video, we expect to start seeing brands filming more of their content in this unique format.

Another great news for the immersive video production landscape is the launch of the GoPro Omni.

The availability of the GoPro Omni, a six-camera spherical array, further enforces the growth of 360 video and VR video creation in the industry today. Photographers and videographers have the ability to piece together a slick 360 video experience. For the mobile marketing industry, this news offers validation that 360 and VR are soon to be the norm, and presents a huge opportunity to fully embrace immersive mobile video content as a primary way of advertising.

At InMobi, we're seeing video campaigns delivering 80% better engagement rates than banner-based ones. It is the best performing format across the board in terms of engagement. The GoPro Omni will allow brands to take video content up to the next level with 360 and VR. Mobile video has already been touted as a major channel for advertisers - with GoPro entering this arena, we're confident this will add even more engaging opportunities for brand storytelling, especially among millennials.

In-app video cannot easily go unnoticed

Interstitials are a natural part of the in-app experience. Appearing within natural breaks in the user's experience upon the launch of an app, in-between levels of a game, at the end of a song. In-app interstitials are full screen experiences, that can not be scrolled past easily like mobile web.

Brand Adoption

InMobi Exchange has seen Samsung, Netflix and AirBnB lead the way in creating and distributing vertical videos at scale globally. We’re excited to see more brands follow suit.

2 very important best practices for Vertical Video:

  1. For best results, film content in portrait mode, rather than cutting or resizing horizontal video.
  2. Add rich media or static end cards to increase the opportunity for further user engagement and time spent on the ad unit. End cards appear at the end of an ad or in between sections of a video ad, with calls-to-action that allow for better storytelling. InMobi sees 2X engagement metrics when end cards are leveraged.

Learn more about impactful, highly engaging, immersive mobile ad formats available on the InMobi Exchange.

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