- Starburst, the fruit-flavored candy from Mars, released a series of ads optimized for viewing on mobile devices. The "Best Enjoyed Vertically" ads support the launch of Starburst Swirlers, which it describes as its first "vertically shaped candy," per information shared with Mobile Marketer.
- The video spots show scenes that look strange unless they're viewed vertically, as on a smartphone screen. The ad titled "Salon" shows people experiencing weird gravitational effects while in a hair salon, but when the screen is tilted 90 degrees, it becomes obvious that the video is meant to be viewed vertically.
- "Best Enjoyed Vertically" ads are on YouTube, including lengths ranging from six seconds to 30 seconds. Starburst also posted a behind-the-scenes video to show how the commercials were shot in a specialized set tilted at a 90-degree angle.
Starburst's playful campaign aims to reach a younger audience that tends to consume video on mobile devices more often than older generations. The vertical video format is consistent with the features of Starburst's Swirlers brand extension. Kids ages 4 to 15 also spend an average of 85 minutes a day on YouTube, per a study by digital safety app maker Qustodio, making the Google-owned video platform most popular among the demographic group that Starburst aims to reach.
Starburst's campaign is another sign of how brands are experimenting with vertical video formats geared for viewing on mobile devices. Restaurant chain Taco Bell this year created a vertical video to replicate the appearance of TikTok, the social video app that's popular with U.S. teens. Universal Music last year released a music video for singer Post Malone that consisted of vertical videos divided into two parts on Spotify. Mobile users could watch the videos separately in sequence, but they also were synchronized to show a continual story when viewers place two phones side by side.
Almost a third (29%) of consumers are open to seeing video ads, making them slightly more popular that photo carousels seen in social media apps that are favored by 27% of people, per survey data from marketing software firm Smartly.io.