The Guarantee
August 8

3 Ways to Create a Tiny Masterpiece

Video ad spend will grow 49 percent—to roughly $18 billion—in 2018, reports Vox Media. It seems everyone is on the video bandwagon. Reams of video ads jam the internet like five o’clock traffic on the expressway. Billions vie for brand leadership and the coveted click conversion, but only the best and the brightest make it to the top.

Using video as part of an overall content strategy can yield a significant return on investment. Video ads are often used to amplify brand awareness or target a specific audience in order to drive sales.

So how can you join the video ad winner’s circle? To level the playing field and break through all the clutter of competing messages, think about the role video will play in your brand story and plan your strategy accordingly.

Today’s consumer enjoys the convenience and up-close and personal nature of mobile devices. Smartphones are entertainment meccas with apps for games, movies and videos. Creating video that captures a mobile audience’s attention for a maximum of 15 seconds is a great feat. It takes careful thought and planning. If you make the decision to produce videos for mobile advertising, here are three best practices to keep top of mind.

The importance of telling a good story—not just any story—cannot be overstated. Powerful content creates advocates for your brand. Coca-Cola’s penchant for storytelling has helped the company maintain its industry icon status. The soda giant’s strategy focuses on telling stories designed to inspire and surprise. The iconic Coca-Cola Small World Machine campaign, which debuted in 2013 in India and Pakistan, remains a storytelling gold standard consumers and marketers alike still talk about today.

Mobile audiences prefer vertical viewing. Today’s viewers expect to watch on the go, while they are running, walking or riding the escalator. Don’t waste their time with cinematic framing that requires turning their phones horizontally to watch a full-screen ad. In the vertical world of video, you’ll be working with an image ratio of 9:16. In the grand scheme of frames, this is a tiny one. Frame your subject in backgrounds that work best in vertical video. Because your viewers may not have audio on, rely more on visual storytelling than sound. This trend is sure to cause video pros from the horizontal school of thought a bit of dimensional heartburn, so let’s call vertical viewing an option––not a rule––for video ads.

Finally, start strong and end stronger. Make the first three seconds count! You have limited time to grab attention, so cut to the chase using vivid colors, impactful visuals and text. Close with a compelling call to action. What do you want the audience to do after the video ends? Direct viewers to a landing page where they can find out more about your products or services.

Mobile video is here to stay. Make friends with the tiny screen, and create videos that connect your brand to your market.

Tricia Warren, Marketing Strategist at RedRover Sales & Marketing Strategy, can be reached at

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