One of the most popular video series anywhere right now is comedian Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee,” where Jerry takes other comedians out for rides in classic cars, and then they get coffee. It sounds simple, but it’s very funny, and very well-done. But what’s unique about the series is how it is designed: The videos are made first and foremost to be seen on mobile devices, not on television sets or even desktops or laptops. These aren’t just “mobile-friendly,” they were shot on video for the very small screen.
Once you know that, you can watch and see how that is done. All of the shots are tight on Jerry and his guests. Images of people and cars fill up the screen. Colors are rich and saturated, coffee cups are shown in close up, even the froth of the cappuccino is given over to the screen. There is no small type to get lost or details that can’t be seen on a small device. And while they still look good on larger screens, this is a mobile-first design in its purest form.
What does “Comedians in Cars” tell us marketers about video campaigns?
Number one, it’s a clear sign that consumers are comfortable ingesting rich content in its most compact form—on the small screen of a mobile device. If Jerry Seinfeld is creating for the smallest of video sizes, then that is where the audience is moving. And if marketing is going to reach this audience, it needs to create content that works well in that format.
Number two, creating a mobile-friendly video cannot be an after-thought. Every aspect of the design of the video, from concept and storyboard to shooting and post-production, must contemplate the mobile device as the primary focus. Not only must all of the key images be seen in tight focus, but any calls-to-action must be large and easy to read. Text must be minimal and clear. Subtlety is not your friend. Actions must be obvious and dialog crisp.
Number three, and assuming the video will be hosted on your company website, the video player must be capable of managing a responsive video, and your video size must be device agnostic. Your video content should be visible on an iPhone, a larger mobile device and a large monitor.
Number four, choose a bold image for your splash screen while the video is loading. It will draw viewers in and it’s good for search as it will make your video easily recognizable. Here’s an example of a bold splash screen image:
Finally, think carefully about your Call to Action. CTAs in videos on a mobile device may not be clickable. If you are unable to create a clickable CTA, consider a CTA that’s external to the video but still on the landing page.
As consumers rely on their mobile devices for gathering the information they need to make purchasing decisions, a video that is truly mobile first can move you ahead of the competition.