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Honda drives engagement for video campaign via mobile ads

For a recent Honda viral video campaign, the ratio of views to share was higher on mobile than on desktop, pointing to the opportunity to drive engagement via smartphones and tablets.

For the Honda campaign, ads appeared on premium publishers such as Pandora and Shazam, encouraging users to click to view a video introducing the indie rock band Monsters Calling Home. While the majority of the views were executed on desktop, the results show that the engagement rates were particularly high on mobile and that a lot of the mobile success came from Pandora and Shazam.

?I am really keen on evaluating engagement in terms of the ratio of views to share because when that number is high, the more previews you can generate which then generates virality,? said of David Segura, CEO of Giant Media, Venice, CA.

?Most don?t choose to share the video but those three to five percent that do wind up sharing the video actually end up generating quite a bit of second and third generation video views on top of the original goal,? he said.

?Honda pushed the envelope in terms of storytelling. It was the kind of content you would generally want to see ? it was more of a story about a band.?

Shareable content
The September 2012 campaign was deployed via Giant Media?s social video platform, which is designed for long-form video content that is at least 30 seconds. The videos are typically designed to tell a unique story the target audience would want to watch and share with friends.

Agency RPA worked with Honda on the creative as well as the media buy.

The Honda video was 90 seconds long. It tells the story of how Honda first encountered the Monsters Calling Home band and follows the members as they get a chance to appear on late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live with Honda?s support.

When users clicked on the ad, which was prominently placed in the middle of the screen, they were taken to the YouTube mobile environment where they could watch the 90 second video.

Users were also encouraged to share the video with an overlay banner in the ad.

Once they were done viewing the video, users saw a screen takeover encouraging them to visit a Honda micro site or the Honda Facebook page.

Mobile innovation
Mr. Segura has several theories as to why consumers may be more engaged on the mobile platform than desktop.

?It is just a more intimate experience,? Mr. Segura said. ?When you are on a tablet or smartphone, you tend to be more focused than on desktop, when you are doing multiple things.

?On a mobile phone, people tend to pay more attention,? he said.

?In terms of real estate, there tends to be less clutter in the tablet and smartphone environment. As a result, it is easier to drill down and focus, which spurs people to take action more often than they would on desktop.?

Giant Media started in 2009 primarily focused on desktop. However, over time the company has watched mobile grow to become between 20 percent and 30 percent of video views for a given campaign.

Going forward, the company expects mobile to play an even bigger role as pre-roll video starts to give way to longer form content in mobile, with brands becoming interested in mobile-only video campaigns.

?Right now in video, the innovation has been on desktop more so than in mobile but that is going to change,? Mr. Segura said.

?The way that brands distribute video right now in mobile is primarily against other people?s content,? he said. ?If you are watching the highlights of a game on ESPN, you have to endure a 10 to 15 second video from a brand,?

?When we started looking at performance data, we started to see that mobile as a platform was not only the wave of the future but something that we were already experiencing a lot of success with.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York