The “birth” of vertical video began the moment consumers started shooting videos with their cell phones. And at the time – posting them online on social networks forced that content into a horizontal player. That meant huge black bars on the left and right of the video and a smaller view area of the actual content. And while that issue still exists on some social networks, others have adopted vertical video players. Today many sites adjust to the orientation of the video allowing those shot vertically to play vertically. How novel! And yet – ironically mobile video ad units haven’t kept pace with the same evolution. For the most part, advertisers have found themselves “vertically challenged” when it comes to mobile video advertising.
Horizontal mobile video ad units make a lot of sense. Many mobile devices are held horizontally for some games and media consumption. But if you look at overall usage, the majority (by a large margin) of mobile devices are held vertically whether it’s customers viewing content on social platforms, websites or apps. Consumers don’t want to have to rotate their screens mid-content.
As shown in the example below, RhythmOne has an ad unit called the video canvas ad unit that can leverage the same creative asset across devices – regardless of orientation. This allows better utility for advertisers and their content – and a better user experience for the consumer. A win-win! In fact, the vertical unit illustrated had a significant higher bump in user interaction compared to other components of the campaign.