Snapchat’s “Discover” and 4 other examples of mobile video done well

Not long ago, watching a video on your phone meant endless buffering, painfully low resolution and sound quality unworthy of a tin can. Thanks to faster processors, ubiquitous broadband and affordable production tools, high-def videos, commercials and even movies are now readily available in our pockets.

But just as there are countless ways to skin a cat, so it goes with mobile video. Too many videos are simply dumped on YouTube, which offers an adequate but not amazing mobile viewing experience. The best video producers, agencies and brands consider the end user from the very beginning, and they’re making distribution choices to match their content.

Here are five examples of mobile video done right.

Amy Schumer Gets Pingered
Who made it: Horizon Media
Why we love it: Inventive mobile partnering, bold messaging


To promote the new season of Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, Horizon Media partnered with social messaging app Pinger. Taking advantage of the comedian’s raunchy image, Horizon targeted a very specific subset of the millennial audience: sexters.

Over a four-day period leading up to the sitcom’s debut, if a Pinger user sent a message containing any of more than 100 dirty words and phrases, they received a reply from Schumer herself. Her message? “If you have an erection lasting longer than four hours, call me!” Users were then prompted to watch a video featuring Schumer, seamlessly embedded within the Pinger app.

This isn’t the first time a celebrity has leveraged a mobile dating app. In January 2014, to promote Mindy Kaling’s sitcom, NBC ran native ads on Tinder, leading users to believe they’d been matched with the fictional Dr. Mindy Lahiri. But whereas Kaling’s stunt met with mixed results (New York magazine it “somewhat clumsy”), the Schumer campaign was a huge success.


Carl’s Jr. Goes Au Naturel
Who made it: 72andSunny
Why we love it: Mobile-to-broadcast fidelity, super short-form creative

To support Carl’s Jr.’s “All-Natural” Super Bowl ad campaign, 72andSunny produced a series of related teaser videos to run in-stream within apps powered by Opera Mediaworks. Like the Super Bowl spots, the teasers starred Charlotte McKinney and played on the “all-natural” message. However, unlike the longer TV spots, the mobile video was only six seconds in length and featured special content from the commercial shoot not seen on TV. The video ended with a call-to-action to watch more exclusive videos and clip digital coupons.

Thanks in part to the special made-for-mobile native video creative, the six-second ads hit the “sweet spot for mobile video,” according to Tom Dunlap, chief production officer at 72andSunny.


adcolony-snapchatSnapchat Becomes a Mobile Video Platform
Who made it: Snapchat
Why we love it: It’s a game-changer

In January, Snapchat rolled out a slick, innovative new product called “Discover.” Of the dozen or so publishers invited to participate, ESPN was among the best launch partners. Their channel is used to present clips and news, all optimized perfectly for the mobile experience.

As Digiday reported in January, publishers are free to sell advertising against their Discover content, with Snapchat taking a piece of the action. Expect a wave of Discover-optimized mobile ads to arrive soon.


Reebok Runs a Great Mobile Game
Who made it: Carat
Why we love it: Mobile interactivity mirroring the buying process


To build awareness of Reebok’s new ZJET shoe among serious fitness enthusiasts who are “glued to their smartphone,” Carat opted for a highly interactive mobile video campaign. After a short intro video, users were invited to customize their sneakers, swipe through available options and find a store (with current prices and availability).

The campaign delivered 1.74 million views, nearly 11,000 hours of watched video and an impressive 3.03% overall engagement rate.


One Direction Woos Mobile Fans
Who made it: Universal McCann
Why we love it: Because 36 Million Fans Can’t Be Wrong

Music-discovery app Shazam was Universal McCann’s “ideal mobile platform” to pump the release of One Direction: This Is Us. To reach the boy band’s rabid fanbase of adolescent girls, the agency made the most of social media, and mobile video in particular. They ran a five-day scavenger hunt, prompting fans to search for clues across the web and social media. The rewards were exclusive clips and messages from the band.

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