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Tales From IAB MIXX: Make it Short and Make it Good

Posted Sep 30, 2014

At a standing room only session at IAB MIXX, a trio of creative thinkers – Tongal co-founder Mark Burrell, Digitas Chief Investment Officer Adam Shlachter, and our own CEO Will Kassoy – dug into the dos and don’ts of telling great stories with mobile video.

Will Kassoy-Adam Shlachter-Mark Burrell-IAB-MIXX

But this wasn’t your typical sleepy panel driven by talking heads and PowerPoint clicks, the creative – and lots of it – took center stage. Snappy clips of mobile video campaigns from Secret, American Express, Braun and other brands had the audience laughing, listening and asking probing questions.

The key takeaway from the conversation? Shorter is better when it comes to mobile video ads … and more specifically, make it short and make it good! Hit read more to find out the three key elements of good short-form.

  • Engage quickly

Whether it’s with action shots, humor, product close-ups, or even random images that make viewers go “WTF???” your creative needs to grab the user’s attention almost instantly. With ads that run for just 15 seconds – and sometimes even shorter – generating interest from the onset is a must.


  •  Brief the creative team for short form

Make sure that the people creating your assets understand the medium. Sweeping shots that take more than a few seconds to establish may not work for a short-form mobile video ad – and just cutting down a 30-second TV spot may not work either. Think of snappy jump cuts and other aesthetic tricks to take advantage of mobile’s intimacy and the short format.


  •  Include a clear call to action

Every brand may not be able to tell a full story with a short-form mobile video ad. But that’s OK, because these kinds of campaigns can be great for driving traffic to longer-form content. Including a strong call to action – watch the full trailer, find out more, etc. – will help tie short-form video ads back to broader marketing goals.

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