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Audi sees 80pc higher completion rate with vertical mobile video ads

Brands such as Audi, AT&T, NBC and Target have all recently run vertical video ad campaigns and more are reportedly in the works as marketers look to better tailor their mobile advertising to consumer use. 

The recent Audi campaign, which was built around the brand?s involvement with the Le Mans race, delivered a 36 percent video completion rate, which is 80 percent higher than automotive benchmark at Celtra, the ad tech partner on the effort.  The results suggest that marketers who make the effort to create immersive experience designed from the get-go for mobile users are more likely to see a payoff.  

?We believe that this is the form that will eventually get the most traction on mobile devices because of the way that consumption of content works on mobile and the way users are using and interacting with content,? said Mihael Mikek, CEO and co-founder of Celtra

?Snapchat proved this with their success,? he said. ?Right now, a number of other companies are trying to develop and catch up. 

?The vertical video campaigns have proven to work much better than with traditional video formats, which are basically ported from desktop.?

Up, up and away
With mobile advertising results wanting in some cases, marketers have been on the lookout for ad formats that feel native to the mobile user and not simply ported over from desktop. 

Vertical video is being touted as one possible solution. 

One of the challenges for marketers with vertical video is taking content from traditional TV and digital campaigns and reusing the on mobile. 

In the case of the Audi campaign, the TV spot was cropped to fit in portrait mode and shortened from 30 to 8 second, as mobile tends to be best suited for short snippets of information. 

Text overlays were used as auto-play video ads typically run in mute. 

Native experiences
The campaign ran across France, Germany and Britain, with the content automatically localized for each region using Celtra?s programmatic technology. 

The Audi campaign was the first to use Celtra?s new vertical video technology. 

?It is really crucial that it is short ? this is really important on mobile,? Mr. Mikek said. ?Users don?t tolerate things more than 8 seconds, according to testing.

?It also needs to be native in look and feel, very fast loading,? he said. 

?If all those are done correctly, then users will engage and you can measure this directly in the aggregate time. The consumption rate is the aggregate of how much video content was consumed by users and also the completion rate.?

Moving on
Industry research suggests that phones are kept in portrait mode 98 percent of the time. This means that as consumers spend more time consuming video content on mobile ? content that has traditionally been shot with a horizontal perspective to fit television screens ? users are getting a less-than-optimal experience, with videos shrunk down to fit, leaving lots of blank space above and below.

However, there are signs that the marketing industry is beginning to respond and provide more opportunities to create vertical video campaigns that fill the entire screen in portrait mode, thereby delivering a more immersive experience. 

Earlier this year, Snapchat teamed up with media conglomerate WPP and the Daily Mail to an agency specializing in developing vertical video ads. 

Additionally, Celtra recently introduced the Short Form Vertical Video ad format, which enables brands to transform TV ad spots for mobile by making them shorter and serving them in portrait mode. 

The technology crops video so it fits the portrait view, supports auto-play and adds in text cards to highlight key messages, as video is often viewed on mobile without sound. 

The ads are also responsive, fitting the screens of different devices. 

Mr. Mikek reports that Celtra has 20 brands lined up to run vertical video ads using its technology and expects the trend to be embraced across the industry. 

?Going forward, vertical video will be one of the main focuses,? Mr. Mikek said. ?In the next few moths, will see many more brands doing it, not only interstitial, but other formants. 

?Video will be predominantly vertical going forwards.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Marketer, New York