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FB’s May Seow on why brands need a TV + mobile video strategy

As the TV viewing habits of consumers have evolved, mobile is giving stiff competition to television as the medium to reach out to consumers. According to an emarketer study from 2016, in India, young adults spend 2.21 hours per day on mobile, times which comes off the traditional media pie. In terms of spends forecast, MAGNA’s 2017 report also expects digital to surpass television ad spend in 2017 with digital representing 37.8 per cent at USD 59 billion, while television’s share is at 37.7 per cent of budgets.

Recently, Facebook launched a PockeTVC programme which allows brands to optimise their TV ads for mobile. The brain behind the programme, May Seow, Global Story Director at Facebook Creative Shop, spoke with Digital Market Asia on why brands should look at mobile as a standalone medium from TV. At Facebook, Ms Seow identifies industry gaps and pilots initiatives that solve for them—from strategy to execution.

Talking about how she came up with the idea of PockeTVC, Ms Seow said, “Every major brand has a TV commercial but not every TV commercial is optimised for the mobile environment. A few years ago, when I spoke with the brands on how they design their video ads for Facebook, they told me that they took the ads as-is from TV. However, the consumer’s behaviour on mobile is very different from viewing TV. When I saw this gap, I started optimising TV ads for Facebook on mobile.”

Mobile vs TV: Is the Golden Age of TV over?
Mobile drives growth within digital and MAGNA predicts mobile advertising to pass the USD 100 billion mark for the first time this year and reach USD 110 billion. “Digital spends are going to surpass TV for sure, but how do we equip the brands for that change? PocketTVC helps brands to build the muscles, so that they are prepared for the shift,” added Ms Seow.

An Accenture study from 2015 found that 87 per cent of people use a second screen device while watching TV. A MillwardBrown Ad Reaction research from 2015 found that people in Southeast Asia spend over ninety minutes viewing mobile videos every day.

Ms Seow highlights that in Asia Pacific, consumers are truly mobile first. “Businesses have an opportunity to reach consumers where they spend a good chunk of time averaging three hours daily on their mobile phone and check their phones 80+ times a day (+150 for millennials) to unlock growth opportunities across consumer segments and locations.”

However, she stressed, that this does not mean that advertisers and brands should disregard TV completely. “It’s taking a strategic and combined approach that could yield the best possible uplifts. Today, fragmentation of TV (with many channels and options) makes consistent, wide reach a challenge. Three times more spots are required to reach 80 per cent of audience now versus 10 years ago.”

Mobile + TV: A match made in heaven?
An Advertising Research Foundation study from 2016 highlights that if digital is added to TV campaigns, it produces a 60 per cent higher ROI. This is where Ms Seow believes the PockeTVC programme can help. “A creative strategy that seamlessly spans from TV to Facebook enables brands to connect with the right audiences, to extend brands’ reach and to significantly improve the efficiency of their campaigns,” she points out.

According to MillwardBrown’s Ad Reaction study, people across Asia-Pacific now spend almost twice the time on their mobile screen than on TV, but mobile receives only around 20 per cent of total media spend in APAC.

There is still a large discrepancy when brands allocate marketing budgets between TVCs and mobile. “Many brands still direct a large part of their budget towards TV ads when planning big splash campaigns, and leave little-to-nothing for mobile. However, brands are beginning to recognize the importance of mobile, and the spending divide is shifting but we see more potential for growth. With the rise of the multi-screen experience, brands that evolve their story from TV to the mobile screen stand to enjoy better ROI and efficiencies,” believes Ms Seow.

However, the key lies in optimising the TV ads for mobile as Ms Seow highlights that this ensures message consistency as well as attracts and engages with the viewer much sooner than on traditional formats. “Whilst consumers have a larger appetite for online video, the average attention spans are dwindling so a brand’s value proposition must be communicated at greater speed,” she stated.

Winning the ‘video’ game
Facebook’s research with partners like Nielsen and Millward Brown has shown that mobile ads with durations ranging from just 0.92 seconds onwards, are effective in driving brand awareness, brand consideration, key message recall and purchase intent.

Explaining how she believes PockeTVC can help brands, Ms Seow continues, “Given that TVCs are still a primary campaign asset, brands and agencies do spend a lot of time and effort creating and crafting that. PockeTVC is designed to celebrate and effectively optimise exactly that, and any video content brands already have for their increasingly engaged mobile audience.”

When McDonalds Malaysia was looking to drive higher monthly sales of the Ayam Goreng McD, it used the PockeTVC programme. According to stats by Facebook, the campaign reached 11.5 million Malaysians, 6.28 times and drove 5X higher sales compared to their baseline. McDs overall reached highest sales in history on April 1, 2017 – ten days after the campaign launched.

A typical PockeTVC consists of five assets—derived from an original asset—one re-cut video, one short video (six seconds or less), one cinemagraph or gif, one carousel, one slideshow or still image. “These optimised assets typically differ from the original TVC story arc and enable advertisers to capture attention quickly and convey brand messages succinctly. This increases the cost-effectiveness and extends the overall campaign life and value of any original TVCs,” Ms Seow added.

The pilot for the program was already launched with a few clients, and as of January 2017, The Creative Shop has worked with over 250 clients globally. For markets such as India with low internet bandwidth, the still image or a GIF image will show up as part of the programme.

Another pilot partner, Toyota Thailand, was looking to introduce Toyota Corolla Altis with new features and increase the number of test drives and ultimately sales. Facebook’s data shows that the PockeTVC programme helped in +26pt ad recall and 17x more people viewing optimised video to the 25 per cent, 50 per cent, 75 per cent and 95 per cent mark vs. TVC.

In conclusion, Ms Seow gives her must-haves for a good video strategy:
• Don’t just take whatever you have and plug it on digital
• Understand mobile behaviour
• Design for sound off, but delight with sound on
• Make sure that the video optimises for each screen

Shubhi Tandon

Shubhi Tandon is the Assistant Editor at Digital Market Asia. Fascinated by the evolving digital media industry, she has focussed on tracking developments in the Asia Pacific market since 2014.