Advertisers and publishers are continuously pushing the frontier of digital advertising to create the most effective ad format possible, and native mobile video advertising is currently at the edge of this frontier. In a first-of-its-kind study, Opera Mediaworks and Comscore found that native mobile video advertising drove significant brand lift and outperformed Comscore mobile norms across a variety of upper funnel and lower funnel branding metrics. Furthermore, when isolating campaigns that most closely followed creative best practices for this emerging format, results were remarkably higher among key branding metrics.
This research highlights an important developing segment of digital advertising. With the rapid rise of short-form video on mobile – popularized by social platforms like Snapchat, Vine and Facebook but increasingly appearing on a wide array of publishers – there is a need to better understand this emerging ad format’s effectiveness and how to optimize results.
Opera Mediaworks partnered with Comscore to measure and evaluate nine brands’ native video advertising campaigns and the branding impact on those exposed to the advertising. A test and control survey methodology was used to measure the effectiveness of exposure to the video creative. Weighting techniques were employed to ensure the control group was demographically similar to those exposed. Each study was also weighted to have an equal effect on the aggregated study results.
Aggregate Results Show Significant Brand Lift for Upper and Lower Funnel MetricsIn our aggregated analysis of the nine campaigns, we found that native mobile video drove measurable lift and outperformed Comscore mobile campaign norms across key branding metrics. Specifically, ad recall (+6 points), ad uniqueness (+9 points), brand advocacy (+5 points) and purchase intent (+5 points) metrics were positively influenced by campaign exposure.
The Fabulous Four: Campaigns Following Creative Best Practices Drove Superior ResultsOf the nine total campaigns, the four that successfully employed the four creative best practices established by Opera significantly outperformed the aggregate results. When the results of these four brands were isolated and compared to all brands in aggregate campaign metrics yielded superior results across the purchase funnel with ad recall, ad uniqueness, favorability, brand advocacy and intent metrics all outperforming the aggregate results by a factor of nearly 2x or greater. Both favorability and brand advocacy were approximately 3x that of the aggregate.
Native Mobile Video Can Be Effective, Particularly When Using Creative Best PracticesThese highlights underscore the value of using creative best practices to optimize campaign performance. With native mobile video, Opera recognized that simply cutting down a 30 second TV ad to a short-form format would not be an ideal approach because those ads are designed to tell a more complete story over a longer period of engagement. Short-form video requires capturing the audience’s attention much more quickly and conveying information more efficiently, and with a recognition that in the vast majority of cases the user will never actively engage with sound. The best practices for short-form, therefore, include the following:
While all/most brands used at least one of best practices, the four top-performing campaigns used all four of the best practices, yielding superior results. For other brands seeking to make use of this ad format, recognizing that it’s a different medium than TV or even standard digital pre-roll is the first step to success. And for publishers looking for ways to better monetize their mobile traffic, native mobile video is a promising option – but it’s important to help guide advertisers towards best practices to drive the success of their campaigns.
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