The way we consume content has changed irrevocably in the last decade. The proliferation of smartphone devices, combined with cheaper mobile data and near omnipresence of Wi-Fi in public spaces, meant mobile was crowned the primary channel for content consumption in the UK last year. This presents an opportunity for advertisers to get ahead of the trend, by recognising the growth potential of mobile, and dedicating the necessary resources to appropriate ad formats now. That way, even as consumer behaviour shifts, advertisers will be ideally placed to keep getting the right results from their efforts.
The ongoing roll-out of 5G along with initiatives to ensure Wi-Fi is easily accessible – even underground – means the growth of mobile is set to continue. This should hit home for advertisers looking for ways to reach their target audience. Popular mobile apps for subscription TV services like Netflix and Amazon Prime remain ad-free zones. But, alternative digital platforms provide opportunities to reach modern mobile-wielding consumers. Whether they are catching up on the football on the Sky Sports app or playing a game of Candy Crush, users are increasingly likely to be entertaining themselves on their phones or other mobile devices.
Less time and more distractions
Some advertisers have reacted quickly to the mobile-first status quo by adopting mobile-friendly ad formats. But, in their haste, some of the same advertisers have crammed longer-form creative from 30-second videos – or even longer – into new six-second formats, rather than designing new content. The disparity between 30 seconds and six seconds is substantial enough that simply condensing creative usually results in an ad that feels rushed and doesn’t clearly communicate a brand message. This can undermine the whole objective of the short-form video format and risk the outcome of an entire advertising campaign.
Tailored creative is especially important for advertisers looking to resonate with a mobile audience. Advertisers are competing for the attention of users flicking between websites, social media platforms and other apps at a rate of knots – perhaps with the TV on in the background as well.
Can’t compromise on creative
For creative to truly capture the attention of mobile users amid a haze of distraction, and meet real business objectives like brand awareness and brand recall, it has to make an impact with a key message in an immensely short space of time. No mean feat. And it is one that requires advertisers to design their video creative with six seconds in mind. It is only from a tailored approach to these new formats that advertisers have a real hope of standing out and achieving tangible outcomes.
Video viewing and other content consumption habits have shifted under the feet of advertisers who are only now finding their balance. To firm up their standing, they should recognise that the incredible growth of global mobile usage is still not being fully exploited. While long-form ads on TV or desktop paint the bigger picture, short-form ads in a mobile environment can act as a complementary asset to focus on a particular selling point or feature, increasing the impact and memorability of the message. These combined formats, along with made to measure creative, will empower advertisers to get the most from their marketing efforts and, ultimately, achieve the best outcomes for their business.