You’ve probably heard this already, but it bears repeating: The amount of time we spend as a nation each day engaging with digital video is increasing every year.
Within the digital realm, mobile video is quickly climbing the ranks of preferred delivery methods. eMarketer predicts that in 2016, 36% of the population will watch video on their mobile device.
It’s no secret that storytelling is king, but do we need to think differently about telling stories on mobile devices? A case study by Google’s Unskippable Labs would suggest so.
Here were my three big takeaways:
- Mobile is Unique
As storytellers, we must respect the fact that people consume media in a completely different way on mobile devices. What works well in other spaces may not necessarily find success here. We have incentive to try new things and go deeper with stories, because, if we do, people might watch longer - 26% longer in the Mountain Dew example above. As Google noted in the video, maybe mobile isn’t about being quicker, but about being better.
- Don’t Just Jam
In Your Brand The conventional wisdom concerning making ads for YouTube goes something like this: Assumption - “Most people are going to skip my ad as soon as they are given the option to do so.” Reaction - “I should jam my brand into the first five seconds of the ad to make sure people remember me.” It makes enough sense at face value, and this line of thinking is probably appropriate in certain settings. But when it comes to mobile, the numbers don’t lie. In Google’s study, they found that the brand awareness of viewers was the same across all three versions of the videos. But in the case of the “pure fun” cut, ad recall was 54% lower. In other words, viewers of the “pure fun” cut were just as aware of the Mountain Dew brand, but were less aware that they were viewing an advertisement. This is big news in terms of marketing to Millenials, who love brands, but just don’t like being sold to.
- It Doesn’t Need to Look Like an Ad
Perhaps the most exciting, yet convicting, takeaway is this: When it comes to mobile, your ad can take any form you’d like. And if you push the boundaries with a great idea, your brand will be rewarded- even if the content you’ve created doesn’t feel like a traditional advertisement. It’s exciting because it opens new doors for pursuing prospects. It’s challenging because it demands a new kind of thoughtfulness and consideration from us- the guys and gals who make this stuff.
Mobile video is a brave new world that is only becoming more important as time passes. The rules are being written as we go. But by paying attention to studies like this one, we can use analytics and sound decision-making as our guide.