Press release, February 11, 2016

Six- to eight-second video creative sees 36% higher engagement for branding campaigns than longer-form video, study finds

Opera Mediaworks announces results of Short-Form Video study with Stella Artois, Lynx and TomTom

London – February 11, 2016

Opera Mediaworks today announced the results of its Short-Form Video study for the EMEA region. Following on from the U.S. Native Video Fund, which established best practices for in-feed mobile video, this new study sought to explore further the ideal creative principles for mobile video by researching the effectiveness of mobile-first, short-form, full screen video in premium, in-app video environments.

The study found that shorter mobile video creative, at six to eight seconds, is optimal for branding campaigns, delivering on average 36% higher engagement levels than long form. This, in turn, delivered the best return when it came to driving traffic. Overall, video is a more effective ad format for mobile, according to the study. Regardless of length, video on mobile drives click-through rates double to that of online video, according to eMarketer.

Earlier last year, Opera Mediaworks launched the EMEA Short-Form Video Fund, which made $1 million available to brand advertisers to leverage the latest Instant-PlayTM, HD video technology running across fullscreen mobile video inventory. Ten leading brands took part in the study, including eBay, Mitsubishi, Mattel, British Heart Foundation and Tourism Ireland. Aspects such as engagement and dwell times were compared in order to discover best practices for advertisers looking to engage mobile audiences with video campaigns.

“It has long been suspected that the length of mobile video creative has a direct impact on audience-engagement rates, and it’s reassuring to have a specific measure of this now. Mobile video continues to be a huge growth area for advertising, considering the ubiquity of smartphones and the changing habits of how we consume content,” says Mark Slade, Managing Director for EMEA, Opera Mediaworks. “Following these findings, we look forward to working with brands and agencies in helping them further explore the nuances to deliver increasingly effective, mobile-first campaigns that are relevant and non-intrusive to consumers.”

Short-form video most effective for branding campaigns

A campaign central to the study supported Stella Artois’ sponsorship of Wimbledon, a branding campaign seeking to reinforce the premium perception of the brand. In support of the study’s overall findings, engagement rates were 60% higher for the six-second version of the video versus the 15-second version. Also, for time spent with the brand in the ad unit, short-form video attracted a 25% longer dwell time than its longer-form counterpart.

Long-form video most effective for product-focused campaigns with a call to action

The study showed that 15- to 30-second video creative offers engagement rates 30% higher than shorter form content, when tasking viewers to “Find Out More”.

A product-focused campaign for TomTom that aimed to build product awareness through driving users to a microsite saw long-form creative achieve a 62% increase in engagement beyond the initial ad view for the 15-second video. Additionally, viewers of the 15-second video were twice as likely as viewers of the six-second version to watch additional video content.

Furthermore, a Unilever Lynx campaign aimed at driving users to click a “Locate Store” button saw a 38% increase in clicks for the long-form video compared to the short-form one.

Best practices for mobile video

When it comes to dwell time and click-through rates, the optimal video length for maximising audience engagement in non-native environments on mobile is between 14 and 15 seconds. The study shows that videos within this window are concise enough to deliver engagement averages double those of longer form videos, while also delivering click-through rates double to that which the short-form videos averaged, demonstrating that viewers are sufficiently informed by this point.

In summary, one size does not fit all for mobile video; marketers must select a core key performance indicator (KPI) and preferred format, then tailor creative accordingly.

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About Opera Mediaworks

Opera Mediaworks is one of the largest mobile advertising and marketing platforms in the world, reaching an audience of 1.4 billion consumers globally. We help clients deliver innovative brand experiences that evoke emotion and deliver real outcomes fueled by data, technology and creativity. Trusted by Fortune 500 brands and more than 85% of the world’s top grossing mobile publishers, we are an essential advertising and monetization platform to drive meaningful results on mobile. Known for our exclusive Instant-Play™ HD video technology, our global performance advertising business and our extensive ad SDK footprint in the Top 1000 apps worldwide, we are passionate about helping brands connect with consumers at scale on the most important screen in their lives. A fully-owned subsidiary of Opera ASA, Opera Mediaworks is a global organization with over 20 offices worldwide.