Mobile-First Native Video Ads Drive Lift

Purpose-built native video ads actually do work.

A study released today measuring the effectiveness of mobile-first native video ads by Opera Mediaworks and comScore shows the extra effort is worth it. When measured against comScore’s mobile norms, the ads drove significant lift across key upper- and lower-funnel brand metrics.

According to Nikao Yang, SVP global marketing and business development at Opera Mediaworks, the study was commissioned based on the hypothesis that creatives designed specifically for mobile would perform better. It focused on a number of brands and agencies using Opera Mediaworks’ platform, including Carl’s JR, the US Navy, Adidas, GM, Disney, the History Channel, Machine Zone and Spike TV, among others.

“While we know that not all campaigns are created equal, this study highlights that native mobile video campaigns not only work but can be especially effective when following creative best practices,” states Andrew Lipsman, vice president, marketing and insights at comScore.

Earlier this year, Opera Mediaworks launched the Native Video Fund to help build and measure the results of mobile-first native video ads. Although Yang admits there may have been some self-selection bias in the brands that participated in the study — everyone that participated has a vested interest in a mobile-savvy audience. They have the budget and willingness to experiment with video ad campaigns, he says he still feels the results speak for themselves.

The study used a set of best practices for mobile video ads based on observations of successful impressions that included hooking users in the first two-to-three seconds, quick cuts and close-ups, oversized text, clear calls to action and making sound secondary.

Mobile ad recall delivered a six-point lift overall and consumer perception of the ads as unique was higher by nine points among the exposed group. Among lower-funnel metrics, brands saw a five-point lift for intent to purchase metrics and a 5-point lift for likelihood to recommend, while outperforming mobile norms, per the study.

The study also isolated a group of four brands because they followed the best practices most closely. Those brands that adhered to Opera Mediaworks’ best practices outperformed the other brands by three times in favorability and likelihood to recommend and more than two times in purchase intent.

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