Mobile has become an integral part of daily life for the constantly connected consumer. Forty percent of all minutes watched on YouTube, for example, are on a mobile device. This presents a big opportunity for brand advertising. Yet understandably, marketers have questioned the effectiveness of mobile’s small screen in holding consumers’ attention and driving impact.

In a recent study with IPSOS we found that that the small screen has the potential to drive big impact: Not only do smartphones reach millennials more than any other device, but the consumption of video on mobile is far less distracted than it is on TV.

The research study, which asked 2500 18-34 year-olds to keep a detailed diary of all of their online and offline video interactions for a day, shows that smartphones are the No. 1 device to reach millennials. In a typical day, 98% of 18-34 year-olds reported using smartphones to watch video content in our research -- that’s higher than the reach of any other device among smartphone-owning millennials.

The experience of watching video on smartphones is also far less distracted than any other device, including TV. On a TV, video-watching was the sole activity just 28% of the time. This means that the rest of the time, participants were involved with another activity -- eating, using a computer, chatting to a friend -- as they were watching TV.

By comparison, video watching was the sole activity 53% of mobile video time. Moreover, 34% of mobile video minutes were watched while people were out and about. On mobile, it seems, primetime is all the time.

Marketers used to seek consumers’ attention in their living rooms sitting in front of a TV, but it looks like mobile video has the power to change that. So how do you build a successful mobile campaign to drive results? We can suggest two ways that online video may create new opportunities on mobile for brand marketing.

I believe we do not have conclusive answers to these questions yet, but we have a few starter tips that might be helpful to think about.

  • Think multi-screen, build for mobile. It’s a multi-screen world and mobile is at its center. What companion experience can you build using mobile devices? Land Rover’s recent cross-channel campaign is a great example of how brands can do this. Knowing that the majority of today’s auto shoppers start their car search online, Land Rover wanted to reach these shoppers on all their devices at every point in the purchasing funnel. They built truly multi-screen experiences leveraging display, social and video ads across devices. Go here to read more about how Land Rover's multi-screen campaign drove sales.
  • Create in-the-moment experiences. Mobile gives brands the opportunity to grab people’s full attention anywhere. How can brands deliver in-the-moment, almost real-time experiences to make use of that full attention? Volkswagen used the power of mobile to reach more than 200,000 people and capturing moments on the go. They achieved this by creating a mobile app for commuters to connect with each other and share valuable road info.

You can read more about YouTube Insights at thinkwithwithgoogle.com/youtube-insights.

Cenk Bulbul is the Head of Strategy and Insights for Brand Advertiser Marketing team at Google,Cenk Bulbul where he is responsible for the B2B marketing strategy for YouTube as well as publishing insights based on case studies and research. It is a good day on Cenk's team if their strategy and insights helped brand advertisers build successful marketing campaigns leveraging YouTube and other Google Brand Ad Solutions. Cenk can be reached at cenk@google.com

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