MMA, Facebook launch creative playbook on short-form mobile video strategy

Loknath Das

Sandeep Bhushan, Director and Head, Global Marketing Solutions (GMS), Facebook India and Rohit Dadwal, Managing Director, MMA Asia Pacific at the MMA Forum India event in Mumbai

Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and Facebook jointly released a creative playbook at the MMA Forum India event in Mumbai. The creative playbook — a special white paper on short-form video strategy titled ‘From a Blink to a HeartBeat’ — will help marketers and agencies push past the conventional creative practices to adapt and execute winning short-form video ad strategies and Thumbstopping creatives that are built for mobile as a medium.

The white paper combines MMA’s neuroscience study of mobile ads, the ‘First Second Strategy Cognition Research’, with the core principles behind Facebook’s Thumbstoppers initiative to provide the advertising and marketing industry in India with its first in-depth, research-backed creative playbook focused on short-form mobile video ads strategy.

“A core guiding principle of the MMA is a commitment to science and truth in marketing for brands, leveraging future oriented research techniques and methodologies,” said Rohit Dadwal, Managing Director, MMA Asia Pacific. “The neuroscience cognition research undeniably supports marketers in making better decisions around both their marketing investments and creative strategies in digital. This white-paper, authored by MMA and Facebook, serves as a unique playbook for the industry to develop both strategy and creative or mobile video advertising.”

MMA’s research about cognitive processing of advertising in a mobile environment is a comprehensive neuroscience-based studies on understanding how consumers respond to advertising on mobile. An important insight from this study is that the cognitive process is faster than we thought, and that the human brain needs less than 1/2 seconds to engage with mobile advertising and trigger a reaction, positive or negative. The main implication of these findings is that brands have less time than they thought to win consumers in today´s fast-paced advertising environment. This is where Facebook’s Thumbstoppers comes in.

For the last six months, Facebook has spearheaded ‘Thumbstoppers’ programme, which was launched in May with an aim of inspiring, educating, and challenging the creative ecosystem with powerful storytelling for video ads in less than 10 seconds. To help marketers make the greatest impact with their targeted audiences using short-form video, Facebook has partnered with the top advertising agencies and brands of the country.

Sandeep Bhushan, Director and Head, Global Marketing Solutions (GMS), Facebook India said, “The findings of the MMA’s neuroscience cognition research are testimony to the rationale behind Thumbstoppers. This white paper combines the comprehensive knowledge of MMA on the topic with Facebook’s study and experience with thousands of campaigns across verticals. We’ve consistently delivered business results for our advertisers, large and small, and this is an opportunity for us to now take the best-practices of Thumbstoppers even wider across the industry, helping our advertisers realise even stronger efficiencies.”

The key belief behind Thumbstoppers is that there has been a dramatic change in consumer behaviour due to mobile; people consume as well as recall content faster on mobile. With mobile becoming more pervasive the industry needs to embrace the possibility that stories that stop thumbs from scrolling, evoke emotions and change human behaviour can be told in under 10 seconds. Facebook’s understanding of Thumbstoppers is built on the back of meta studies of thousands of campaigns and fine-tuned by creative directors who have used them.

How to create an effective Thumbstopper ad — the playbook for the marketer in the mobile age

*Duration: Stop thumbs, move hearts in under 10 seconds: Thumbstoppers are brief and need to remain under 10 seconds to be effective

*Branding: Convey your key message immediately: Thumbstoppers showcase their brands and message early on and often

*Visuals: Show your products in action: Thumbstoppers use striking visuals to grab attention

*Sound: Design for sound-off but delight with sound on: Thumbstoppers use visual concepts to communicate to viewers who might watch with sounds turned off

*Opening: Make the first few visuals count: Thumbstoppers have strong opening visuals to grab attention and lock the audience in

Top-performing mobile ads have an element of surprise. By experimenting with strong design elements, one can make ads more effective. The key is to ‘Be creative, and test, learn and adapt’.