The statement is as true as it is catchy. Everything is going mobile, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down. Businesses are going to have to keep up if they want to compete. Web design strategies have already adjusted with the rise of responsive design, which ensures that a website can be easily viewed on a tablet or smartphone. Your advertising strategies need to do the same.
On mobile devices, everything is smaller and more compact. The same needs to be true for your online video ads. Smartphones can’t handle large file sizes, and their users will not wait for long loading periods – they’re on the go. That means that your video ads need to be getting shorter. 5-10 second ads will likely become the norm for mobile platforms. Advertising guru Trevor Beattie prophesied the death of the 30-second TV ad earlier this year, and already 30-second online ads appear to be on the decline. Any YouTube ad longer than 15 seconds comes with an option to skip it after five seconds, so why bother with a longer ad?
Other clues that this prediction will come to pass are popping up everywhere. Vine debuted in January of this year and was successful enough to launch the Android version of the app the following summer. Vine was made exclusively for short videos that can be posted to Twitter, with a max length of just six seconds. Shortly after that, Instagram Video was launched – a similar app that allows you to take and post videos up to 15 seconds long.
Five months later, people have become very used to viewing these kinds of brief videos. If you don’t want to get skipped or viewed as a nuisance, your ads need to remain confined within the average Internet user’s shortening attention span – especially when they’re using mobile devices.
What this all means is that you’re going to need to get more creative. Think of ways that you can make your point in just a few seconds. Consider making a series of video ads with the same simple theme, like Blendtec’s “Will It Blend?” videos. If you simply can’t get your point across in five seconds, there will still be a place for longer videos. But it will become increasingly necessary to hook viewers in quickly, like this viral video ad by Tidy Cats released a couple weeks ago entitled “A Cat’s Guide to Taking Care of Your Human.”
Otherwise, your advertising will have to offer something useful. Consider offering free educational webinars or simple tutorial videos on your company’s website. Always remember that you should be providing potential customers with something they want – whether it’s a laugh, helpful information, or images of cute animals.
Experts in the fields of both advertising and mobile devices are saying that by the time 2014 is drawing to a close, the face of mobile advertising will look completely different than it does today. Pay special attention to mobile advertising trends – you either keep up or get left behind.
If you’ve seen any five second ads online that you think work, feel free to share them in the comments!