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Are you creating thumb-stoppingly good video?

The world is watching video more than ever before - giving advertisers growing opportunity to connect meaningfully with consumers. That's what Mondelez, Nissan, Cancer Research UK, Facebook and Brightcove believe...

Video consumption is increasing rapidly – 80% of online traffic will be video by 2019, according to Cisco. But that doesn’t mean it’s an easy ride for advertisers. Brands have to create content that is relevant, authentic and – crucially – memorable.

Campaign and Brightcove hosted an afternoon of video masterclasses, inspiring talks and a lively debate at London’s Soho Hotel for an enthralled agency audience. The afternoon featured presentations and case studies from video gurus Brightcove and brands such as Mondelez, Facebook, Nissan and Cancer Research UK. Here are Campaign’s top takeouts and a video with the afternoon's highlights.

The panel of experts from left to right; Anthony Newman (Cancer Research UK), Ed Couchman (Facebook), Philip Jackson (Mondelez), Mark Blair (Brightcove), Martin Moll (Nissan) and Brittaney Kiefer, (Campaign)

Video isn’t just incredibly engaging, it’s a business weapon
Consumers engage more with video compared with text. Business statistics show consumers engage more and actually buy more when they watch a video: "Companies that aren’t prioritising video are missing out," said Mike Vignapiano VP digital marketing EMEA at Brightcove.

But video has other benefits for an organisation – it can engage employees and communicate important messages internally. Oracle, for example, use a video portal to carry out training and stream executive speeches, keeping the business informed. 

Mike Vignapiano VP digital marketing EMEA at Brightcove sets the scene with his opening presentation on the state of video

Don’t be narcissistic, prioritise the consumer and be credible
"The reason brands struggle to build relationships with consumers isn’t because consumers don’t want relationships with brands, it’s because you can’t have a relationship with a narcissist," said Philip Jackson, global digital strategist at Mondelez. He believes brands are too focused on their own business and aren’t looking at how to help, be useful to or talk to consumers.

Jackson said: "When creating a video campaign, bring it back to the ‘why’. Why you’re making it… why should it look like that… always why."  This will help establish whether the content is credible and believable: the two components central to all advertising. 

Philip Jackson, global digital strategist at Mondelez

Creative is everything – that’s where agencies add value
Video can communicate quickly – it enables passing of qualitative information at speed. Yet long-form is a possibility too. There are no limits and this gives brands and creatives lots of opportunity.

At Nissan, creative partners Wieden & Kennedy created original video briefs that Nissan retro-fitted because the concept was so good.

"Our agency came up with a cracking idea with ‘Limits’, which forced us to work out how to make it happen. I loved the content and thought it would get traction with consumers," said Martin Moll, general manager of marketing communications at Nissan.

Martin Moll uses the Honda Type R campaign case study that he led on during his time as marketing director at Honda Europe

Create a strong brand experience
Some present video in non-branded, default video player embed. But these brands are missing out on creating a branded experience according to Brightcove’s Willem Challenger, who encouraged creatives to put video front and centre. Challenger said: "Showcase video content in a destination you have full control over. Certain clips and events lend themselves well to customised, thought-out experience."

"For maximum impact, think about the channels you distribute to carefully and have as much input over the brand experience as possible; integrating with other platforms such as MAPs or CRMs will enable this."

Think mobile-first and make thumb-stopping creative
The amount of time people spend on mobile devices is rapidly increasing and advertisers must adjust to reflect this.

By the end of 2018, Facebook predicts nine out of ten stories will be video based, compared with four currently. People are consuming more video but capturing attention in a sea of content is challenging.

"Start thinking of how to create work with mobile at the centre," said Ed Couchman, director of agency partnerships at Facebook.

"Attention decays quickly on mobile so content should draw you in and tell a story immediately. It should be visually pulsing, captivating and thumb-stopping."

Nissan’s ad campaign, ‘Limits’, is an example of a mobile-friendly video – text overlays grab attention, audio is not key to conveying the key message and a strong, original concept makes it shareable. 

Ed Couchman, director of agency partnerships at Facebook, addresses the agency audience at Soho Hotel

Brands must keep up
Brands are under immense pressure to innovate and capture the attention of audiences. Raj Basra, director of channel sales at Brightcove, said today the consumer journey is more complex than ever and a lot of the changes in consumer purchasing habits are down to media fragmentation and the explosion of new technologies. 

"Consumers have changed the way they purchase, interact and consume content – and brands need to keep up with these continually shifting behaviours and habits," said Basra.

"Increasingly brands are relying upon their agencies to create video-enabled campaigns and programs that deliver extraordinary video experiences for their clients and drive real business results," he added. 

"Today, we are excited to launch the Brightcove Agency Program as this provides our agency partners with the tools, technology, support and expertise needed to enhance their video credentials and grow their business through tapping into this demand."

Raj Basra, director of channel sales at Brightcove, introduces the Agency Program

Beautiful and cheap
Video can be expensive to make but this shouldn’t put anyone off. The concluding part to the afternoon was a panel debate, featuring all the brands, who debated the worth of cheap video. 

"I don’t think there’s a dichotomy between beautiful and cheap. Something can be beautiful and cheap," said Anthony Newman, marketing and brand director at Cancer Research.

"I’ve done productions that cost thousands over a couple of days and we produced a beautiful film but with the same money I’ve produced hundreds of videos which have been far more impactful. What’s beautiful for one person is not beautiful for another."

The panel agreed the most important thing is to prioritise impact and relevancy, not production.

Anthony Newman, Cancer Research UK, explains the power of beautiful creative

Measuring the success of video
No one questioned that video can engage consumers and deliver results. But there is a call from the industry for better measures. Facebook’s Ed Couchman said: "Digital needs to get its house in order. We need a gold standard of currency – one unified measurement system. The industry must unify to have one coherent piece quickly as trust is eroding in the digital economy which needs to stop as the digital economy fuels growth."

To address concerns on the effective use of video within campaigns and programs, Mark Blair, VP EMEA at Brightcove said "Brightcove offers a full suite of products and services that reduce cost and complexity whilst also providing access to comprehensive analytics that demonstrate quantifiable ROI"

This is underpinned by thousands of customers in over 70 countries that rely on Brightcove cloud solutions to successfully publish high-quality video experiences to audiences everywhere.

For more information on Brightcove please visit their website here.

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