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Vertical Videos: A Changing Perspective in Online Videos

Video advertising has proven to be a popular format both by marketers and consumers. According to Hubspot, 87% of businesses report video as one of their marketing tools and 83% of marketers say video provides them with a good ROI. When surveyed in 2018, 87% of consumers said they would like to see more video from brands in 2019. The majority of the population prefers to engage with video on a phone or tablet, but recent consumer behavior shows an additional preference. Mediabrix found a 90% higher completion rate for vertical videos compared to horizontal videos. They also found that less than 30% of users will turn their phones sideways to watch an ad, and even if they do take the time to switch to horizontal mode, they are only making it through about 14% of the ad.

Simply put– consumers want convenience, and switching from portrait to landscape is not only inconvenient, but also irritating. What does this mean for advertisers? It’s time to flip the way videos are shot, or potentially lose out.

Consumers have been interacting with vertical videos for a while thanks to Snapchat and Instagram stories, whose daily user count has hit a new high ~ about 500 million users. YouTube has even recently given in by offering a full-size vertical record and upload option. This shift, while perhaps annoying to a couple purists in the creative department, presents the opportunity to evolve the way a brand interacts with their audience.

Because vertical videos were first used for personal Snapchat and Instagram stories, they have a more organic and personal feel. The vertical video format is seen more as a narrative, a closer cropped and more refined view, allowing for another level of immediacy and interactivity. NBC’s Golf Channel tested out vertical videos last year, giving  fans “a more intimate look at their favorite athletes in the moment, [with] coveted views from behind the scenes using Snapchat and Instagram.” The vertical format of these “behind-the-scenes” videos better aligns with consumer behavior and allowed NBC to take something they have been airing for years, repackage it, and use it to connect with a new, younger audience.

Like NBC, other companies have used vertical video to refresh their strategy and connect with new audiences. National Geographic,Nike, Starbucks and countless other brands are using Instagram Stories to tell their own stories. From taking a stance on climate change to sharing inspiring weight loss journeys to showing viewers how to order a coffee in sign language, the revamped strategy on content and execution is successfully engaging with consumers.

It’s safe to say that the way consumers digest video is changing shape, literally. In fact, Samsung recently announced that they will be releasing a TV that can switch between landscape and portrait modes, allowing for a seamless shift in view from mobile to TV. This in and of itself is a great example of a brand accepting the new consumer experience and adapting to it. (If only Blockbuster Video had gotten the same memo.)

Our take? While there will always be a place for traditional landscape shooting, vertical video format is here to stay. In the words of CCF Creative and Video Editor, Steve Barone: “I was anti-vertical for a time but I’ve changed my mind. It’s the world we live in.”

What do you think? Let us know.


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