Response Magazine: Media Zone: Leveraging Micro-Videos in the Direct Response Arena

With mobile outpacing TV in the race to capture eyeballs, micro-videos gain traction as one of the newest additions to the direct response advertiser’s toolkit.

Just when you thought consumers’ attention spans couldn’t possibly get any shorter, they did. Credit mini-looping video apps like Vine, Vigi and market newcomer Vid with helping to substantially reduce the amount of time users commit to watching videos on their mobile devices. And with a new study revealing that mobile use now officially outpaces TV viewing, direct response advertisers should not only be paying attention to the trend — but also leveraging it to their advantage.

In its 2014 AdReaction Report on multi-screen use across 30 countries, global research agency Millward Brown found that users spend five hours per day consuming seven hours of screen media with 65 percent of that time spent “shifting” among individual screens throughout the day. In most cases, users start with the TV (where Americans spend 147 minutes per day) and then move to a smartphone (151 minutes).

Simultaneous multi-screening accounts for 35 percent of screen time, and includes a mix of “meshing,” or the use of TV and a second screen for related content (14 percent), and “stacking,” which the group defines as the use of TV and a second screen for unrelated content (21 percent).

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In Welcome to the New First Screen: Your Phone, AdAge’s Mark Bergen highlights the key AdReaction Report findings and notes that when it comes to mobile ads, “Global smartphone users are also noticeably open to watching short (micro) videos.” Yet despite the increase in mobile screen time in the U.S., ad spending has failed to catch up.

“Smartphones and tablets claim around 44 percent of daily screen time in the U.S.,” Bergen writes, “but media spending for the two devices reaches just $18.9 billion, well short of the roughly $70 billion spent on television, according to eMarketer.”

The gap between mobile video consumption and ad spending leaves the door wide open for DR advertisers that are already well versed at assembling and truncating videos down into bite-sized pieces and presenting them in an educational and informative fashion. Coming in at a svelte six-to-15 seconds in length, for example, micro-videos provide yet another platform for cutting through the online clutter, enhancing brand awareness, attracting consumer eyeballs, and even selling products directly by driving to Web fulfillment sites.

Specific to multi-screen marketing opportunities, Millward Brown found that consumers are most receptive to micro-video, TV ads with interactivity, and TV ads promoting mobile apps, Facebook pages and websites. Marketing that delivers more entertainment and rewards are generally preferred over multi-screen campaigns, which simply offer more information.

Hyatt Chaudhary, CEO at digital media company Carbon Media Group in Bingham Farms, Mich., says marketers typically use short, Vine-like videos to tease out their short-form and long-form DRTV campaigns. “They’re typically part of larger, integrated campaigns and not necessarily used as standalone advertising mechanisms,” says Chaudhary. “It’s pretty hard to convey much of a message in six or seven seconds.”

To create the short clips, Chaudhary says his firm will cut out different pieces of a 30-second pre-roll, knowing that simply “shaving off” a chunk won’t necessarily result in the best possible 6-second clip. “It’s less of a shortened pre-roll and more removing the most viral pieces of the commercial and combining them into one micro-video,” says Chaudhary. Because many consumers have already warmed up to the choppy videos produced for platforms like Vine, producers worry less about creating “smooth” edits and more about taking the best 1-2 second clips and merging them into a single, short video. Those videos are then used to introduce longer commercial formats, entice viewers to watch longer versions via their mobile devices or computers, and even tease longer, expensive commercial formats for events like the Super Bowl, a sales process recently dubbed “sequential video advertising.”

“The trend certainly isn’t going away anytime soon,” says Chaudhary, “and it definitely presents opportunities for companies that are seeking new ways to hit the one-third of consumers who are watching video on their mobile phones.”

Source: Response Magazine


Luke Capizzo