The days of mocking those suffering Vertical Video Syndrome are passing by, whether you like or not. Once laughed at and accused of not understanding how a simple video works, people using vertical videos are now seeing how tables are turning. And all thanks to digital marketing and its paladins, which are now using the videos trapped between wide black bars to advertise to mobile users.
Big names like YouTube and Snapchat have already showed they are now taking the previously hated format as seriously as any other marketing tool. The reason behind it is pretty obvious – mobile users keep rising, so it’s just natural to give them a format that fill mobile screens in their entirety. Besides, flipping the phone over and over again is so tiresome!
But apart from that, there are other reasons. For instance, Snapchat says that vertical videos are perfect for ads. According to the company, vertical video ads are so “comfortable” that people is 9 times more likely to view them to completion when compared with the oh-so-beautiful horizontal ones. In fact, people are already getting used to vertical video, thanks to platforms born directly for mobile, such as Periscope and Meerkat.
What’s more – Facebook also displays full screen vertical videos and even YouTube, the platform where all the syndrome thing was born, has adjusted its mobile apps for better vertical video viewing.
Given the shift these prominent platforms are making, it’s to no one’s surprise that media companies are already making the switch as well when creating their video contents. Mashable, Burger King, The Daily Mail, Macy’s and Spike are already on board and creating vertical video ads and contents.
According to Daily Mail North America CEO Jon Steinberg, “vertical video on mobile is usually a better user experience” since rotating your phone to watch a video “is the equivalent of having to sit at your desk and rotate your computer monitor all day long”. He goes on to say that “if a video is vertical and a little bit compelling, you’re going to keep watching. It intuitively makes sense.”
And it actually makes sense. Without the ugly black bars everyone hated about vertical videos, the only reason why we’d shy away from this kind of contents is that they don’t match our horizontal field of view. But when considering we’re talking about ads and videos of less than a couple of minutes, that issue becomes irrelevant – no one should complain about videos that can run so seamlessly in the overall mobile experience.
Naturally, marketers betting more and more on vertical video won’t make the haters go away. But that shouldn’t concern them. People that don’t like the new favored format can just move along and enjoy other types of video contents (widescreen, interactive, 3D). For their part, people that don’t mind about those meaningless discussions will surely embrace vertical video and understand it as what’s set to become – one of the many ways in which we consume media in our days.