June 27, 2014

What the World Cup Tells Us About Mobile Video Ads

By Manish Mishra, Vice President (Sales)

If there's one form of advertising that brands and consumers alike are most comfortable with, it's bound to be video. Television commercials have been a staple of the advertising community for decades. As I shared in my last column, video is also beginning to increasingly drive mobile advertising, a trend that is increasingly clear with the World Cup.

Sharing figures from Mary Meeker's annual state of the internet report, the New York Times reports that mobile data consumption is up more than 80% "as the world turns more to tablets and smartphones, especially to watch video".

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) notes that video ad spend rose 55% in the first quarter as compared with a year earlier.

To make mobile video advertising even easier, BuzzCity has launched a a new rich media advertising platform - it starts with a banner which users can click to view your video. 

In today's column, I'll like to share two important tips about using this medium, but first, a look at the most popular World Cup ads.

Trending Videos - The World Cup

The first round's not even over yet, but fans have already watched more than 1.2 billion minutes of World Cup ads on YouTube. That's 4x more than one of the world's premier sporting (and advertising) events - the US Super Bowl.  Keep in mind as well that 40% of YouTube views are on mobile.

Top World Cup ads include Activia's spot featuring Shakira for the World Food Programme plus video by Nike, Adidas and Samsung.

Many analysts will tell you that it's best to keep internet and mobile ads short. The IAB, for example, argues that 15" spots are best. Shorter videos, they say, have trouble conveying a message, while longer ones turn viewers off.

However, we'd recommend that you reconsider this logic.

The Samsung ad, which creates a fictional game of Aliens versus Earth strikers, is more than 7 minutes and has received nearly 11 million views. This may be on the long side, but two of Nike's top ads are 4 - 5 minutes and Activia's is 3.5.

This Samsung commercial also provides a good example of a holistic campaign. The video links to a microsite with games, gear, a music anthem . . . and information about the Samsung Galaxy S5.

Of course, if you're going to create long content, make sure it's something consumers will want to watch and which doesn't irritate them!  Automakers have a good history of using longer-form content to educate consumers about their products.

An Important Practical Issue - Video Hosting

While BuzzCity will deliver your video ads to your target audience, whereever they may be, we do not host the videos themselves.

So where's the best place to do this?

The most obvious choice is YouTube. It's free, reliable and has servers around the world. The downside though is that YouTube often places ads before the videos it hosts, which means that consumers could be forced to watch an ad before your ad.  You can be sure that Samsung and the other World Cup pros won't stand for this.
There are a number of other choices though.

Wistia specialises in hosting video for businesses. There are a number of marketing and analytical tools, plus there are no ads. Packages start from US$25/month. (There is a free service, if you don't need much bandwidth and don't mind having Wistia's branding on your media player.)

A company called GoAnimate - which provides user-friendly online tools for businesses to create animated videos - has written a good article that details more hosting options, including Vzaar, Vidler and other companies you probably haven't heard of yet.

Next Steps

Next up: we'll provide a How To guide on using BuzzCity's Rich Media Platform. In the meantime, you may want to contact your BuzzCity Account Executive to say "Set me up! Please enable Rich Media for my company's campaigns."

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