Unruly has been studying what makes people engage with digital content for more than a decade. So the company knows that it’s easier to emotionally connect with parents and that moms shouldn’t get all the attention because dads like to buy lots of stuff.

And while there’s lots of attention paid by industry groups to user experiences with ad formats, “There should also be guidelines for how to make strong content,” says Unruly SVP, Marketing & Insight, Devra Prywes. “I think it’s really important for advertisers to realize that content and distribution are two sides of the coin for success.”

Not that long ago, video views ruled the day. But now earned engagement metrics are coming to the fore and that’s a good sign, Prywes says in this interview with Beet.TV at the Digital Content NewFronts.

Unruly was one of the participants in the NewFronts Insights Lunch, the focus of which was original research around digital video. Despite the specter of Mother’s Day looming large, Unruly shared its Parents Playbook research to show that dads over index across all devices, are more likely to buy and are more emotional when watching video ads.

Other Unruly research underscores that vertical video “is the future” because most people don’t want to turn their phone to watch horizontal video. “But it’s a little daunting for brands to have to make different types of video creative,” Prywes says.

She’s quite happy to hear more conversations about emotional storytelling and less of an emphasis on video run times. Except that some advertisers are “still locked into” run times of 15, 30 or 60 second ads.

“If you’re making really strong ads, people will watch,” says Prywes, citing the viral Kraft Swear Like a Mother effort. In this 1:35 video, author and “swearing expert” Melissa Mohr offers advice to the 26% of mothers who reported never having sworn in front of their kids.

“It’s a long video,” observes Prywes. But because “there’s a lot of garbage out there, brands that are focused on quality will get that attention.”

This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the IAB’s Digital Content NewFronts 2017. The series is sponsored by the IAB. For more videos from the #NewFronts, please visit this page.