If mobile video is the new black when it comes to advertising, then according to this eMarketer study, the future is blacker than ever. More people than ever are watching video on their phones or mobile devices: in 2015, adults in the US will spend an average of 39 minutes per day watching video on their phones and tablets, which is more than half the average amount of time spent per day on digital content.
Advertisers are taking note, as well, and this year will see $2.62 billion spent on mobile video ads, up 70% from last year. Estimates place mobile video ad spent at nearly half of all digital video ads by 2019. But still, this is only a small percentage of overall mobile advertising.
And while the numbers are slightly staggering, a lack of coherence is keeping advertisers from charging full force ahead and catching up with desktop video ad spend.
Challenges Ahead for Mobile Video Advertisers:
There are so many options right now for mobile video advertising that the market seems fragmented. Should you opt for a 6-second loop on Vine? A 16-second, higher-quality video on aesthetic-loving Instagram? A longer but more expensive ad on Facebook? And what about YouTube? Should you wait for Pinterest to enter the game? How is your video playing in Twitter feeds? Should you go in-app or design for the mobile web?
The options can be overwhelming and none of them have been around long enough to determine which is the most desirable or best-performing. Our advice is to focus on the platform where your customers are, or where you want them to be.
Because of the market fragmentation, there isn't a consistent pricing model across formats. Advertisers don't know what they should be getting for what price, and from there, confusion abounds. CEO of Huge, Aaron Shapiro, told AdWeek that tablets are grouped with desktop budgets rather than mobile spend "more often than not."
This confusion isn't without justification. We're still in the process of understanding how and why people use tablets and smartphones differently. And how will all of this change with smartwatches and wearables?
And, of course, this all leads to the holy grail of advertising and marketing: ROI. Media buyers want proof. Is there a standard by which all mobile video ads, regardless of format or length, can be measured? This week, YouTube announced that it is working on ways to give brands greater insights into how their videos performed (i.e, did they lead to clicks or conversions).
A Few Cool Examples of Mobile Video Strategy:
While this may be a case of the horse taking off before the cart is ready for that speed, we are also seeing some innovative uses by brands of mobile ads. Here are a few that caught our eye:
Hotels.com on Facebook
Hotels.com has been embracing the cheeky factor lately, and their new Facebook ad is no exception. It's designed to be played without sound, as most video ad do in newsfeeds. It features Captian Obvious playing the piano, but once you click to hear the sound, you're in for a surprise. A second spot capitalizes on the lack of sound by using a sign language interpreter.
Captain Obvious has stuff to say even if you can't hear him. Enter code MOBNEW10 to save 10% with the Hotels.com app.Posted by Hotels.com on Monday, June 1, 2015
Maybelline Maybes on Instagram
Maybelline knows where it's target audience is, and that's on Instagram. A sponsored teaser for their "No Maybes" campaign shows up in the beauty fan's feed and looks like a native video from a fellow beauty blogger, but with campaign quality.
Age of Adaline on Snapchat:
This past month, as part of the Age of Adaline media blitz, Snapchat stories of users in the New York City area were interrupted with teasers from the movie. Whether or not people hated or loved it is to be determined, but perhaps the subtle ripple speaks towards the video's native qualities.
For more about the eMarketer study, AdWeek has outlined some highlights here.