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Vertical is the New Normal: The Mobile Era & The Evolution of Mobile Creative

by Nathalie Smith | Sales Strategist

Read Time: 6 mins

Today, far too many brands and agencies have a cookie-cutter approach to mobile marketing. These marketers want to fit briefs, media plans, and creatives designed for legacy media like TV and print into modern social and digital strategies. However, the age of mobile has ushered in new consumption habits, and marketers must tell their brand’s story in an entirely new way.

“How can we as an industry break conventional norms and redefine storytelling and campaign planning now that the thumb is in charge?” -Facebook IQ

Here at Pixability, we believe that creative purpose-made for mobile fosters better video performance. The latest research supports this:

According to the 2015 Comparable Metrics study by Nielsen, which compared traditional media like TV and radio to OTT, desktop, and mobile streaming services, consumers are increasingly viewing media via smartphones, particularly viewers age 18-34. While this report should have been a wakeup call to the industry, brands and creative agencies are still focusing on traditional media like TV — but these horizontal assets are not designed with digital or mobile in mind, as consumers are primarily viewing ads vertically or within a feed.

“The smartphone is eating the TV” -Nielsen Comparable Metrics Report: Q2 2015

The leading walled garden platforms have developed sophisticated vertical video capabilities, including the full-screen takeovers offered by Facebook’s Canvas, Snapchat, and Instagram Stories. In fact, vertical is fast-becoming the new normal. Vertical videos are twice as likely to be watched to completion compared to horizontal videos, and vertical videos generate up to 9x more video completions. Advertisers have a host of options to reach audiences via vertical video:

  • Facebook offers an array of marketing objectives in aspect ratios including brand awareness, reach, video views, website traffic, and conversions.

  • Instagram offers advertisers an audience of more than 600M monthly active users, and offers vertical ads that appear between friends’ Stories.

  • Snapchat has amassed more than 100M monthly active users, and advertisers can target immersive vertical ads against its Stories product as well, which is projected to generate $936M in 2017.

Brands and creative agencies must turn their thinking on its side: from 16:9, to 9:16. This shift will maximize the impact of their media on upper funnel metrics like brand awareness and video completions, to lower funnel KPIs like consumer consideration and purchases.

At Pixability, we’re prepared to lead the industry into a new era of mobile-first advertising through our social video expertise and advanced video ad technology. Our goal is to help brands and agencies develop the best-performing media strategies, isolating the right platforms, audiences, and placements for their advertising, as well as helping customers to understand what creative and ad products will best drive performance. For modern audiences, that’s means full-screen, mobile-first video ads.

To learn more about reaching and engaging mobile audiences across social video, get in touch today.

Nathalie Smith is Pixability's Sales Strategist.