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Advertisers invited to help tackle the short-form, long-form video debate through $1m fund

Advertisers are being urged to help solve the long-running effectiveness battle between short-form and long-form video by testing campaigns through a $1m fund formed to usher in a more mobile-centric approach to the media in the UK.

The initiative was launched earlier today (14 May) by Opera Mediaworks at the IAB’s Mobile Engage event where delegates were given a sneak peak at what it means for brands and agencies. A key frustration for many advertisers is that creative often doesn’t translate well to smaller screens, an issue compounded by the reliance on repurposed TV content to underpin online video strategies.

The fund is built to stop this, urging participants not to repurpose content but to rethink it. Backed by yet to be recruited agencies and brands, the $1m pot will be used by Opera Mediaworks to fund $50,000 shorter, mobile-first videos no longer than 15 seconds that will then be matched in spend by longer versions of the campaigns that have been produced by the advertisers. The idea is to compare the old with the new and provide clarity around whether long or short-form video is most effective on mobile.

The videos will pushed in a multitude of ways, from in-feed to interstitial and pre-roll.

All participants will work closely with Opera Mediaworks’ in-house creative teams to develop the shorter versions of the campaigns, which will be compared to their longer counterparts on metrics such as view through rates, engagement rates and how they behave once the video has ended. Through the ad platform’s patented ‘dynamic end card’ feature, advertisers can craft more dynamic activations from their call to actions that could lead to better insights such as whether people who watch videos go through to a site and make a purchase

It comes at a time when the sheer breadth of online video proliferating through the digital space is causing some advertisers to question whether its sustainable and capable of replacing linear TV. That online video is one of the hottest media in the mix currently is not in doubt but for many publishers it is still only a fraction of their revenues as they look to develop a more premium experience they hope will someday elevate CPMs.

Rob Cootes, commercial director for video at Opera Mediaworks, said the focus of the fund was on getting brands to understand mobile better rather than pushing up CPMs. “It’s about getting brands to understand that mobile is a completely different platform to TV or even desktop,” he continued. “They need to cater their creative lengths for mobile, which we don’t believe, especially in the UK market, they’re doing particularly well.

Ultimately, Opera Mediaworks plans to turn the initiative into a research piece that it can eventually take to market and align itself to thought leaders in the market when it comes to mobile video. The project will focus in the UK first before other markets are considered should it prove successful.

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