Video Marketing 101: The Evolution of Vertical Video

It’s no secret: people are consuming information through mobile platforms more than ever before. According to The Telegraph, 2016 marked the first time in history that more users accessed the web through mobile devices than through desktops. And in 2018, users spent an average of 69 percent of their media time on their smartphones.

Mobile has changed the game, not only influencing how consumers use the internet, but affecting how businesses provide content to users.

The popularity of vertical videos is on the rise and, in today’s world, it makes sense.

Vertical videos are defined as the standard horizontal video (16:9) turned on its side, so the content is taller than it is wide (2:3).

A facebook business infographic showing the different ways you can watch video on mobile. There are more ways to watch it vertically than horizontally.
Source: Typeform

Horizontal videos, the traditional viewing mode, are not completely in line with how people currently use their phones. Robert John Davis, founder of the Advanced Video Practice at Ogilvy & Mather says, “While mobile consumers can turn their devices horizontally, data trends suggest that they don’t want to.”

Vertical videos make it easier for viewers to watch video, hence their rise in popularity. While turning the phone may not seem like a difficult task, content creators are one step ahead of the viewer and have used vertical videos to make content consumption even easier, eliminating the need to change your phone’s orientation. In a way, horizontal videos no longer “fit” (literally) the needs of the viewer.

Snapchat led the charge for vertical video, stating in a 2015 report that vertical videos earned nine times the completion rate of horizontal videos. The rise in vertical video popularity paralleled Snapchat’s rise as one of the leading social media platforms in existence. Though Snapchat is no long the king it once was, other social platforms have taken on the lead, with Facebook, Instagram, and even Twitter favoring vertical as the new go-to orientation. (And LinkedIn is sure to follow.)

It’s now imperative for advertisers to optimize their content to fit user behavior, and the relevancy of vertical videos was born from that need.

Wondering how you can use vertical video to tell your brand’s story? Here are our top three examples of successful vertical video campaigns.

1. BMW

When BMW wanted to market its sustainable energy vehicle to millennials, it turned to Snapchat ads. The video below was formatted vertically to appeal to a younger audience and was translated to reach audiences all over the world.

2. Sperry

A screencap from a Sperry's video ad that was used for the Cosmpolitan Snapchat story.

When Cosmopolitan collaborated with shoe brand Sperry, the Sperry video ad fit perfectly into Cosmopoliton’s Snapchat channel, giving it an organic feel and increasing their overall viewership. They created a vertical version of this 30-second ad to fit the vertical channel.

3. Taco Bell

Taco Bell has seen frequent success with vertical ads. They’ve used vertical videos to introduce and promote new food creations, including the ad below for their spicy Diablo sauce.

Laundry Service launched a vertical video Facebook ad campaign for Hennessy and on day one, Jason Stein, the agency’s CEO, told Adweek that the CPM rates were three times “more efficient for vertical video than square video so far.

The numbers speak for themselves – vertical videos have disrupted the status quo and will only continue to grow as one of the most influential mediums of our time.