What’s the value of vertical video views?

Sean Dixon, director at OMD Canada, says vertical content, the focus of new WPP-DailyMail-Snapchat digital shop Truffle Pig, is still a niche concept.

To differentiate their ad ops, an unlikely trio have partnered to create a global-facing business that will give advertisers a new way to reach young viewers.

WPP, Snapchat and U.K.-based newspaper Daily Mail announced in Cannes this week that they are launching a new global ad agency called Truffle Pig, built to focus on 3V (vertical video views) advertising.

Snapchat’s founder, Evan Spiegel says vertical videos remove the need for pre-roll, and allow full-video ads to appear in the context of content users are already interacting with.

The new offering is an effort to introduce new behaviour in how people consume mobile, says Sean Dixon, director, emerging media at OMD Canada. “Truffle Pig will let that format live but at the same time it will still be niche from an audience targeting perspective. I don’t see this as something that can be a platform for everyone.”

The debate around the vertical video format has been an aggressive one, with plenty of content creators on YouTube making parodies about the format being unintuitive: Turn your phone 90 degrees (one million views); and Vertical Video Syndrome (6.3 million views), for instance.

The 3V market is limited according to Dixon, because it specifically targets only a teen audience. “It’s the younger set that will really tolerate vertical videos.” Even so, brands looking to target that market will be interested in what the company has to offer. Food and beverage brands such as Red Bull are the kinds of brands that could reach that market using the company’s content publishing format, says Dixon.

The name, Truffle Pig honours a kind of pig that is able to hunt out truffles buried more than three feet deep, and alludes to the company’s claim that it can dig deep and offer rich rewards to brands looking to chase a youth market. “A truffle pig finds the rare and tasty,” according to Jon Steinberg, CEO, Daily Mail North America, in a press release. “With the need for story-driven marketing on our sites and those of other media companies, and new ad formats like Snapchat, brands need a truffle pig.”

Snapchat’s co-founder Evan Spiegel has been talking about Snapchat’s ability to be a perfect storytelling platform that engages multiple points of view while at Cannes, making it a perfect venue for brands who want to tell good stories. In January, Snapchat asked advertisers to spend a minimum of $750,000 per day for advertising on its site, a rate that is equitable to mainstream television spot rates. Snapchat ads are usually less than 10 seconds long and self-destruct after 24 hours but offer access to a hard-to-reach and targeted teen market.

In a separation session at Cannes with Cosmo‘s editor-in-chief, Joanna Coles, Spiegel talked about his modest entrepreneurial start with Future Freshman, a platform that was to help high school seniors get admission into the college of their choice. Snapchat was born in a dorm room at Stanford with his fraternity brother, Bobby Murphy, and has evolved quite rapidly into a company with a close-to $20 billion valuation.

It will be headquartered in New York and will produce digital and video content, and help clients position that content appropriately. It will also make use of Snapchat’s Los Angeles production facility and use the company’s 3V, vertical video view format.

At the outset, content will be placed on Snapchat and Daily Mail, or its partner brand, Elite Daily. Ad ops will not be limited only to WPP clients.


 Image courtesy of Shutterstock