How vertical videos are taking over the advertising landscape

Industry experts say with people preferring to watch content on their phones in a vertical position, marketers have moved onto vertical videos, especially to leverage social media platforms

e4m by Dolly Mahayan
Updated: Sep 3, 2019 8:27 AM  | 3 min read



Gone are the days when smartphone users would turn the phones sideways to shoot videos in the landscape mode. It is now the time for ‘vertical videos’. Social media platforms like Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook have all embraced the vertical content format and this has led to the growth of vertical videos in the marketing arena.

Since most people consume videos on the go and usually hold smartphones in an upright position, marketers too have been developing strategies to offer more personalisation, interactivity and immediacy in vertical video format.

According to a media report, smartphone users hold their phones vertically about 94 per cent of the time.

YouTube is dominated by the horizontal format and so it has enabled full-screen playback for vertical videos.

Meanwhile, Instagram has launched IGTV, a standalone video application, to deliver long- form vertical video format. Snapchat too has a vertical feature and it keeps adding new features to interest users.

Sameer Makani, Co-founder and MD, Makani Creatives, says: “What started as a mere advertising tool has now become an important part of mainstream advertising. Knowing the fact 90 per cent of the time people hold their phones in a vertical positions, marketers have leveraged the idea of vertical videos. Now, they have also started creating video content in 9:16 aspect ratio, which was 16:9 ratio earlier.”

Arun Gupta, Founder and CEO, MoMAGIC Technologies, explained why the vertical video format is gaining prominence in the video market. “Content providers like YouTube and OTT platforms like Netflix are already showing ads and previews respectively in the vertical format as majority of the content is being consumed on mobile phones.”

“We will witness a change of strategy for video as ads would be customised for a vertical format in the digital mobile marketing space. In many cases, where a company’s only marketing spend is on mobile marketing, creative agencies will create ads in the vertical format. Globally, many top brands are now experimenting with vertical ads and now Indian firms are also gearing up for the same,” Gupta added.

Neha Verma, Co-founder and Director, Whisskers Marketing, says advertisers going for the vertical format have only been in the gain. “Vertical videos are not only beneficial for users and social networks, they can also do wonders for your business. In fact, advertisers who started using vertical videos to promote their products say they have got better results, especially in terms of views and engagement.”

The vertical format has even made its foray into the web-series space. Vigo Video, a short video platform, has shot a web-series in the vertical format to resonate better with smartphone users. It will be released on Vigo Video on September 3. Marketers are lapping up this trend because studies have shown vertical videos have better completion rates when compared to horizontal ones.

Sharing more insights, Verma said vertical videos attain more reach and at a lesser cost. “It sees approximately 80-85 per cent higher completion rate as compared to horizontal videos as only 10-15 per cent of users turn their phones sideways to watch an ad. Vertical video campaigns are likely to have a higher completion rate and a larger pie of the consumer’s attention because of the smoother experience, making it a more effective tool for carrying
the brand messaging.”

Summing it up, Makani said, people expect a seamless experience on their social media sites and avoid reorienting their phones for horizontal videos and that makes all the difference.

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