Brands are gravitating to video across all screens, especially mobile: Kirthiga Reddy

Kirthiga Reddy, MD, Facebook India, shares Facebook's insights on how video adoption is changing and what brands need to do to adapt to this change

e4m by Ankur Singh
Updated: Jun 11, 2015 8:05 AM
Brands are gravitating to video across all screens, especially mobile: Kirthiga Reddy

Across the globe, people are using mobile devices and adopting visual language to communicate. As a result, video consumption is sky-rocketing, particularly in high-growth regions.

People everywhere are embracing visual communication formats, like video, at a staggering rate. More than 50 per cent of people on Facebook in the UK, Brazil, South Korea, Singapore, Israel and the UAE watch a video every day. According to the social networking site, in Asia-Pacific people are spending more time creating and consuming videos, including ads. In fact, in just one year, the number of video posts created per person on Facebook increased 75 per cent globally, 52 per cent in Australia, 36 per cent in South Korea and 138 per cent in the United Arab Emirates. People in the Middle East now consume more video per person than any other region in the world.

No boundaries

In an exclusive interaction with exchange4media, Kirthiga Reddy, MD, Facebook India, said, “We are extremely optimistic about video and that is a sentiment that cuts across teams and geographies. It’s pretty simple: people love video. People have like to tell stories and video is a great way to do that. Brands are also storytelling with sight, sound, and motion and naturally gravitating to video across all screens, especially mobile.”

As storytelling on Facebook has become more visual for both people and brands, the social networking site is continuing to invest in products that help photos and videos load quickly, play smoothly and require little bandwidth.

When asked what difference she sees in the usage and impact of video between India and other countries, she said, “In some ways, video usage is similar no matter where in the world you are and in some ways it’s different. Because most video viewing on Facebook happens on mobile, first you have to look at the device landscape – the US and western Europe are smartphone led and in most areas people are well served in terms of 4G and connectivity. In countries like India, there’s a broader range of devices and connection types, plus data sensitivity – how expensive is it to get online and consume data. While these are challenges they are not barriers, people everywhere will gravitate to video, whether they watch them in traffic or while waiting in line at a store. We are working to make the experience better across all devices so that videos load faster.”

Way to go for advertisers

“Overall we see that many people across the world actually value add on Facebook, and discover new information or see them as forms of entertainment. This makes sense intuitively to us as well, if you are in a country like India and are buying a type of product for the first time, ads with product specs or information about that offering would be useful to making an informed and important buying decision,” said Reddy.

According to her, for advertisers, it is important that they understand where people are spending the most time (which is more and more mobile every day) and what type of information they want, whether it is to be informed, to be entertained, to gain information about how to improve their homes or produce a healthy meal for their families.

“The Kissanpur campaign by Hindustan Unilever Ltd was a digital-only launch of a four-minute video targeted at modern parents. Facebook helped drive awareness by reaching over 22 million people in a matter of 24 hours,” she pointed out.

“From there, it is important to deliver the most well-designed ad based on that mobile device and the bandwidth. And the best part is you can tell your story across all devices.

“We encourage publishers and advertisers to upload native videos to Facebook as they can take advantage of two benefits a) Videos will play automatically in News Feed b) Video's will have view counts.

“For the people on a smartphone on 3G or 4G, provide an engaging, short video (to ensure the smoothest load time and to deliver a message quickly) – ideally one made for digital. The more you can customize the video the better, but also know that one truly great ad that you and your agency feel proud of can appeal to a broad audience – for instance, one for men and one for women. Of course, make sure you test and optimize as you go. And then for people on feature phones, consider visual ads like images or links that provide a compelling brand story,” she said.

‘Accelerated’ growth

Through the Creative Accelerator program, announced earlier this year, Facebook is also working with brands and their agency partners in India, Indonesia, South Africa, Kenya and Turkey to create visual brand stories for every mobile device and connection type. The results of the program have been promising so far, said a company statement.

In Kenya, Coca-Cola launched a photo ad campaign designed to spread a locally relevant message of happiness. Compared to similar campaigns, ad recall increased by 18 per cent, said the statement.

 Nestle Everyday's Theatre in a Cup campaign connected with people in rural and metro areas in India using photo or video ads, depending on the person's device and connection speed. Compared to similar campaigns in the region, the campaign increased brand awareness by 9 per cent and purchase intent by 5 per cent. 

Lifebouy used photos and videos showing its soap's effectiveness on germs to talk to moms in Indonesia about how washing hands helps keep families healthy. After the campaign, 9.4 per cent more moms in the area associated the brand with the statement “protects effectively from germs.”

With promising global numbers, Reddy said, “We are very optimistic about the future of video, and personally I am excited about how we can change the way video is received in global markets – making it accessible (faster, better, and more useful) to more people in more countries. With a platform that serves 1.4 billion people, we have great teams in place working to address a diverse set of regions and needs. We’re only at the beginning and excited to advance the experience.”

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