The Future is Vertical

Vertical Video is Here to Stay

It was only a matter of time, but vertical video just solidified its place in our newsfeeds with Facebook’s latest update. Previously, Facebook users and advertisers were encouraged to post videos in either the traditional widescreen (16:9) or square (1:1) aspect ratios, but recently Facebook has officially jumped onto the vertical video bandwagon.


Millions of photos, videos and selfies are taken vertically every day, and apps like Snapchat and Periscope have all capitalized on this behavior. With well over 100 million daily active users, Snapchat has already proven that users are not only more willing to capture more content, they are also willing to consume video without having to rotate their phones.

With social media users digesting more mobile-specific content than ever before, it’s essential for advertisers to start optimizing their content by adding vertical videos into their repertoire.

Don’t Fear the Crop

At first glance, shifting to vertical videos could be seen as a hurdle for advertisers. Television ads and digital videos that are traditionally shot on a 16:9 aspect ratio are often not suited to be cropped to a 2:3 (vertical) aspect ratio — important elements such as text and background/scenery are bound to be cut out. To avoid accidental cropping and guarantee that videos gain maximum full-screen real estate, content creators must develop videos with social media feeds in mind. This means shooting vertical video in addition to landscape, or editing videos to vertical specs in post-production.

More efficient brands will further feed-proof their creative so that it’s captioned, short, and simple enough for users to digest while scrolling through their feed. With 54% of Facebook users solely on their mobile device*, it’s highly recommended that content teams begin to produce and edit video specifically for smartphones.

Vertical Video Done Right

Vertical video takes up the entire screen on your phone — which provides more real estate to tell a richer visual story. Brands that have embraced the vertical video format are already seeing stellar results. Jason Stein, CEO of Laundry Service, has seen success with LG vertical video ads, which he reports are receiving CPM rates that are 3x more efficient than standard square videos on Facebook.**

Snapchat has also has seen success with vertical video via their Snap Ads platform. Snapchat reports that Shock Top saw brand awareness improve by 15 points and purchase intent rise 22% around millennial consumers — all from a 10 second Snap Ad***.

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Walmart, Food Hacks on Snapchat revealed more video content by swiping up[/caption]

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PINK, We Run This Beach Campaign: fun, short video that showcased brand[/caption]

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Secret Life of Pets, Petmoji Campaign: users create a custom petmoji in app by swiping[/caption]

So What’s Next?

As social media users continue to migrate to mobile-only habits, advertisers must find more effective ways to tell their brand story and capture attention through a mobile-first lens — particularly with vertical video. With more creative real estate to work with, you’ll soon see brands taking advantage of this unique storytelling point of view and finding more ways to further push the boundaries of this new format.






Randy Romero, Social Strategy, DigitasLBi Chicago