When was the last time you enjoyed watching a 30-second TV commercial in your Facebook newsfeed? Probably never. So why do so many advertisers still jam ads built for an old medium in to the new one?

That is the question Facebook and WPP’s creative agencies have been working on, in a Creative Ambassadors Program geared toward educating ad-makers in what works on the new screens.

For Justin Marshall, VP of emerging media at WPP’s POSSIBLE, the rationale is now clear.

“Seventy percent of all video on the platform is really TV-centric, not designed for a mobile-first screen experience,” Marshall concedes, in this video interview with Beet.TV.

Why is there so much shovelware? “Clients are really beholden to the KPIs that they’ve been given, and a lot of the work flows out of that,” Marshall reports.

Facebook works closely with ad agencies and their creative agencies to explain the different nuances of what is a quite different medium.

And we are not just talking about the differences between “analog” and “digital” here. Within digital, mobile itself exhibits significantly different user behavior – and that places new demands on ad creators, if only they can step up.

“A lot of the work that we do is try to understand how we can shape those (client) KPIs to really focus on a mobile-first world – a world in which we need to stop thumbs, not just get people to watch a 15 or 30 second TV spot,” POSSIBLE’s Marshall adds.

But telling a client to re-engineer their goals may not be so straightforward.

“If we can look at and have those kind of conversations with clients, we can make hard decisions and the right hard decisions really based on … what kind of ad formats really work

“That is an opportunity for us as advertisers to really look at the medium, and then master that medium in a unique and interesting way.”

So what works in mobile ad production? Having attended the Creative Ambassadors Program conceived by Facebook and WPP, Marshall advises:

  • Vertical video instead of horizontal.
  • Six- or 15-second videos.
  • Using video in a way that introduces products and invites action very early.
  • Use human faces first in videos.
  • Pair up the video with shoppable units.
  • Make playful, interactive and entertaining video.

This Beet.TV series, presented by Facebook and WPP, is titled Creativity in a Mobile First World. Please find more videos from the series here.

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