jake dubbins web quote

Mobile video viewing habits are morphing daily, and so is consumer behaviour. Overall, the mobile video ad market is predicted to hit $6bn by 2018, up from $2.5bn this year, according to eMarketer.

To find out what resonates most with viewers, brands are testing a range of formats, from short Vine-esque ads to longer-format ones and interactive creative spots. That said, story is absolutely paramount. A couple of the best current examples are the John Lewis Ballerina ad and McDonald’s No Harry. The story has really done its job when, hooked by the narrative, you are disappointed by the reveal: buying a Happy Meal.

When Asian sauce and condiments producer Lee Kum Kee, a Media Bounty client, launches its new campaign (from 14 September), video will allow the brand to tell a fascinating back-story. The campaign follows the success of Lee Kum Kee’s Cook N’ Tell Club, which used video, together with interactive social media, to encourage trial and advocacy among amateur cooks. With a potential media reach of over 2.5 million, a 40% opt-in rate to Lee Kum Kee’s customer database was recorded.

A new study from Google offers insight into how mobile viewers might respond. It tested a range of mobile video storylines with Mountain Dew for the brand’s Kickstart ‘Come Alive’ spot.

Different versions were trialled: one with a beginning, middle and end; and one without a traditional storyline or structure. The latter fared the best. The non-traditional mobile video ad was viewed at a 26% higher rate than other edits of the same product ad. That cut was also three times as long as the other treatments. Google suggests people were intrigued by the mystery of what they saw. They were more interested in seeing where the story went than in skipping ahead.

The optimum length of video is a debate that is constantly raging. The answer is simple. There is no optimum length. Video needs to be as long as it interesting, telling a compelling story or answering a question. Add virtual reality at scale with the Oculus Rift in early 2016, and the journey for brands is about to get even more interesting.

Jake Dubbins is MD of Media Bounty