The widescreen format is something that has been the norm since the dawn of screens. Movie theaters, televisions, and computers have always been wider than they are tall, and because of this, ads have always conformed to this layout.
However, the rapid ascension of smartphones over the last few years has forced creative teams to take a longer look at the more mobile-friendly vertical video. Companies like Instagram and Snapchat have been pioneers of this delivery format, and other companies are following suit. Given the fact that consumers spend 94% of their time holding their phone vertically, this is a sound strategy.
So why is vertical video worth considering? To start, its full-screen viewing experience provides a seamless user experience and creates greater brand awareness. Horizontal video leaves a lot of negative space on mobile devices, which can distract users and take their attention away from the ad itself.
Vertical viewers don’t face this issue, as the dimensions allow the ad to fill the screen, and the numbers bear this out - in addition to the aforementioned brand awareness uplifts, studies have shown that vertical videos have completion rates +90% higher than horizontal video.
While the proliferation of mobile has been going on for years, 2018 was a landmark one. Mobile finally surpassed TV as having the largest share of ad spend in 2018, and it’s particularly effective for reaching the coveted Millennial demographic, as 79% claim to use mobile devices for more than three hours per day.
Top brands are taking notice across a number of industries. It is being used successfully by industry leaders like Spotify, Netflix, National Geographic, and Mercedes-Benz, while it also has become very popular in sports, with companies like ESPN, NBC, and the NFL Network all launching initiatives that expanded their use of vertical video.
Through our experience running vertical campaigns here at GlassView, we’ve garnered a lot of information on what works and what doesn’t. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your vertical video campaign:
Videos should be no more than 15 seconds in length, although we do accept videos up to 30 seconds long. As previously stated, most mobile users are consuming content on their phones for hours on end every day. As a result, they don’t have the time or patience to watch a longform video.
Similarly, it’s crucial to have a major attention-grabbing moment in the first couple seconds of your video. Because vertical videos are short and mobile content consumption is heavy, brands must find a way to make a lasting impression early and make viewers remember their ad.
Lastly, it’s important to make content specifically for the vertical format. This means using a 9:16 video aspect ratio and recording content in a way that is in-line with this viewing experience. Users are not viewing content from left-to-right in the same way that they do with horizontal video, so brands and agencies must get a little bit more creative with the composition of their ads.
Econsultancy mentions how this can be done through techniques like split-screen stacking or mirroring, which allows brands to toy with different spacing and framing techniques. There are countless ways to do this, and as this vertical video continues to grow, we will continue to see brands come up with innovative ways to use the platform.
For a look at GlassView’s options for distributing your vertical video campaign, check out our products page or contact us.