Everyone knows that video advertising is one of the most in demand formats for mobile campaigns. For instance, by 2021 it’s estimated that brand advertisers in the US will spend $10.8 billion on video ads, a 50% increase over last year.

It’s clear this format will continue to be a crucial component of future marketing strategies – but that also means there’s going to be a hell of a lot more videos out there.

Marketers are going to find it much harder to capture and hold users’ attention spans beyond a few seconds. And that’s why the industry is beginning to turn its head towards interactive video advertising.

This isn’t anything radically new (in fact it’s been used on desktop for some time now), however when it eventually takes off on mobile, they’ll be plenty of brands riding high on this trend.

Want to get ahead and learn more about its opportunities? Allow me to give you some pointers.


What is an interactive video ad?

Traditional video ads are straightforward. You watch what’s on your screen and in some cases, are rewarded at the end of the clip with a discount offer, promo code or tip on how to reach the next level of a game. As the clickthrough rates show, these are still highly effective, but many companies are already starting to experiment with something new.

Interactive videos give users more control and involve them in the overall ad experience – not only can they watch what’s in front of them, but they are able click on things, move elements around and hover over items for more details.


What are the benefits?

The first and most obvious benefit, is that these ads are engaging. If you give users something to do, instead of merely having them sit back and wait for a clip to be over, they’ll be more likely to interact with an ad and take in its content.

The fact is, if done really well, interactive videos can be ridiculously cool and something users are likely to remember – and even share with their friends. This is powerful for a brand and something all marketers should aim for. Study results show that even if people don’t click on a video ad online, the ability to interact makes it 32% more memorable compared to non-interactive ads.

The tracking possibilities should make this format particularly attractive for mobile advertisers. With interactive videos, they can monitor exactly what digital audiences are doing with these ads and use this data to steer marketing strategies. Where are viewers clicking? Which elements do they find most compelling? In the same way playable ad data can be used to optimize apps, companies can use the answers to these questions to boost the performance of their products or services on mobile.

Interactive videos can draw on existing user data to show personalized content based on attributes such as name or location. If you want to create impact, this is how you do it. Users can be shown unique and relevant content that addresses their needs or interests. For instance, it can help them learn about new products or overcome a specific challenge in an app they’re using.

Eddie Tomalin, VP Marketing at WIREWAX told us that “an interactive video provides content creators of all types the chance to engage their audience like never before. Linear video on both desktop and mobile is highly saturated, so naturally, the savviest creators have already identified the opportunity that interactive media offers.”

So what makes a great interactive ad?

And here’s a perfect example, created by WIREWAX to promote Disney’s The Jungle Book.

What I love about this is the simplicity and initiative nature of what it’s asking the user to do. The video has a clear message and the navigation is easy to follow – the viewer moves their cursor around the screen to reveal two sides of the same story. It lets people swipe between behind the scenes footage of the movie and the final CGI production.

It doesn’t overdo it
Interactivity is a strong tool, but if its features are overused then the magic disappears. In this example, the viewer can either drag the cursors to reveal new information or click on the individual characters or items to learn more about them.

High quality
An effective interactive video must be high quality, both in terms of production and the overall storyline. Viewers won’t engage with something that doesn’t look and feel good. They’ll also switch off instantly if what’s on the screen doesn’t excite them. The Jungle Book video held my attention because it let me see the intricacies of how the movie was made. It’s fascinating. Check it out, I bet you’ll be entertained.

“The Webby award-winning Jungle Book campaign drove 83% of the audience to action. On average, 3.5 interactive overlays were engaged with per viewer. These results are no fluke, we see video performance like this time and time again when creators effectively harness the power of interactive video.” Eddie Tomalin, VP Marketing at WIREWAX


A final word

As mentioned, this format isn’t something we haven’t seen before but watch out for it on mobile as the market for linear video becomes saturated. It’s a great and innovative way to communicate with audiences, but it only works if it’s used correctly.

Netflix is one of the first players to do this on a large scale with the latest episode of Black Mirror, where viewers become part of the story and influence the outcome of events. It’s a bold move and one that could kick start a new trend for streaming content. In terms of mobile, I expect to see an increase in the number of brands adopting a similar approach in attempt to stand out.


Want to know more?

If you’re interested in adding interactivity to your mobile campaigns, get in touch with us to hear more about our creative solutions – or check them out here.

Raunak Miranda

Sales Manager | Glispa

Raunak works as a Sales Manager at our Berlin office. He is passionate about disrupting technologies and follows the startup ecosystem closely. When not at work, you will find him at a nearby park practicing for the next marathon. Raunak is also an ardent football fan and supports Chelsea.

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