Say goodbye to the horizontal video, the traditional format we have watched for generations on TV and on our computers. We are now in the mobile-only era. Notably started by Snapchat, vertical video on smartphones has changed the way videos are made. The way stories are told and viewing habits have also changed. A trend has taken over our phones with the explosion of the Stories format. They are all over social media platforms! A trend which also impacts means of communication and how advertisers reach their audience. Here’s why.
Why Is Vertical Video So Popular?
The smartphone has become our primary device and the main communication tool for younger generations. Websites have changed, content has adapted, and responsive design has transformed the work of web designers. Verticality has become the norm, especially in the way we naturally hold our smartphones.
Snapchat normalised the concept of vertical videos before being quickly emulated by its competitors. When Snapchat posts 10 billion vertical-format videos per day, it inevitably creates new viewing habits. Despite YouTube’s resistance and countermeasure attempts, what was a practical and ergonomic approach is becoming a creative trend that is set to last. In fact, all major players in the media and entertainment industry are jumping on the vertical video train. Netflix, for instance, has created 30-second vertical trailers to promote its contents. There’s even a vertical film festival in Australia since 2014.
Vertical video has gone mainstream. It is now completely part of the mobile trend.
New Creativity Obstacles
Vertical video offers a whole new field for creativity and production. It often adds an extra step that can slow down established work processes in agencies and advertising. Creating a video takes time: You have to tell a story, write a script, shoot/animate, and edit the final product. Usually, this final product must then be adapted to platform constraints. The same video is not posted on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. But vertical videos further complicate this process. You can’t take a vertical video and upload it on a traditional platform. Although vertical videos are popular and current, horizontal videos are not, but they will never die out.
This duality demands adaptive filming equipment and new work processes. They must be integrated for limited scalability with almost no loss in quality. For most big brands, vertical video is an addition to horizontal video as marketing tools. They are not replaced.
Before jumping on the vertical video train, you must first consider the age groups and demographics of your audience. The younger they are, the more likely it is that smartphones are their primary (and sometimes only) device. In that case, verticality is essential without a doubt.
Vertical videos are better for live streaming, or contents that are short and informal, but authentic, with little or no editing. Usually, everything is done on a smartphone. Horizontal videos are more elaborate, longer, and requires more effort. They require other means of production.
Vertical Video: A Trend That Impacts Online Advertising
Due to the popularity of vertical videos, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has issued some standards and guidelines. A few examples:
- Recommended video lengths are from 8 to 12 seconds.
- Possible integration of components for augmented reality.
- The possibility of using RichMedia End Cards with adapted CTAs.
As vertical video is the most active on social media, there is a clear development of advertising for clothing, technology, and retail brands. There are so many ways to create vertical content for a mobile generation— A generation looking for a strong emotional connection with brands.
Whether on mobile apps, social media, or mobile websites, online advertising must adapt to create short stories and contents. They must be easily integrated, using the whole vertical interface to get the right message across. A cultural change that involves a new creative vision and a new marketing approach. This is what is essential for advertisers to adapt to the new and growing mobile trends.