Creative Comes Back with Mobile Video

What are you doing this year with your mobile dollars?  Likely you’re shifting more of them into mobile video ads. And you might shift even more if you had a better fix on what was effective.

Google’s “Mobilegeddon,” the day Google changed its algorithms to penalize sites that are not user-friendly on small screens, has come and gone, revealing in its wake the fact that most sites get anywhere from 25% to 65% of their traffic from mobile users. And nothing tells us that audience is going to get smaller; rather, it will almost certainly grow. As an advertiser, your spend will grow with it, and you will likely favor video because of its engagement metrics, which often mimic those of TV.

On mobile, good creative becomes more important than ever.

Connecting to a consumer on the move involves breaking through dozens of other demands for that consumer’s attention.

But in the case of mobile video buys,  growth in engagement coupled with growth in spending create a conundrum. The “best” format for mobile video ads, according to conventional wisdom, may be forced-completion pre-roll, but pre-roll comes in limited quantities, so it’s difficult to make a buy to reach your target market at scale.

Not to mention that most users hate pre-roll about as much as they hate auto-play video. How do you make mobile video ads tolerable to users?   For our customers, the InArticle video unit beats all industry benchmarks handily, partly because it doesn’t auto-play audio unless a visitor mouses over it, and partly because you can click to close out of it and it still leaves a “bread crumb,” a 1×1 thumbnail, behind at the bottom of the page. It has also been tested for viewability by MOAT and come out 40% higher than industry standards.

None of this changes the fact that the bottom line for advertising effectiveness is still and always will be good creative. Over the past seven years, we’ve all learned from Don Draper how to tell an aspirational story, and it’s comforting to know that in the midst of all the technology changes in our industry since the 1960s, methods of motivating consumers have stayed pretty much the same.