Opera Mediaworks and comScore release new native video ad effectiveness study for auto-playing, in-feed environments.

Aggregated results from top brands that most closely followed Opera Mediaworks’ creative best practices saw a 2x increase in purchase intent over that of the entire study.

Opera Mediaworks and comScore

With the rapid growth of native, in-feed, auto-play video, Opera Mediaworks and comScore  (NASDAQ: SCOR) have partnered on an industry-first study on the subject to better understand ad effectiveness of mobile-first video for native environments to help brands drive more impact with their creative. The study, released today, found that brands and agencies are seeing meaningful results from mobile-first, purpose-built video ad creative.

Findings from the study showed that purpose-built, native video ads drove significant lift and outperformed comScore mobile norms[1] across key upper and lower funnel brand metrics. When isolating campaigns to those that most closely followed creative best practices for native mobile video, results were remarkably higher, in particular, with lower-funnel metrics tied to converting users to actual consumers.

“Based on the findings, auto-playing video specifically created for native, in-feed environments can have a major impact on results like purchase intent and likelihood to recommend,” says Nikao Yang, SVP for Global Marketing and Business Development, Opera Mediaworks. “While not a substitute for full-screen mobile video ads, native video ads can be a strong complement and a key part of the mobile video marketing mix.”

Following creative best practices for native video yields even greater results when driving consumer conversion and action

For the nine campaigns in the study, purpose-built, native video ads that auto-play in the feed drove significant lift at a 90% confidence level and outperformed comScore mobile norms across key metrics in both upper- and lower-funnel metrics. Mobile-ad recall delivered a 6-point lift overall and consumer perception of the ads as unique was higher by 9 points among the exposed group. Among lower-funnel metrics, brands saw a 5-point lift for intent to purchase metrics and a 5-point lift for likelihood to recommend, while outperforming mobile norms.

However, when isolating the nine campaigns to those that most closely followed creative best practices (ultimately, four campaigns), results were remarkably higher especially for lower-funnel metrics tied to consumer conversion and action, outperforming comScore mobile norms and delivering significant double-digit lift between control and test groups. When comparing the aggregate of nine campaigns to the four campaigns that most closely followed creative best practices, the latter outperformed the former by 3X in favorability, 3X in likelihood to recommend and more than 2X in purchase intent. From a brand awareness standpoint, the campaigns drove nearly 2X in mobile-ad recall and 2X in ad uniqueness,

At a high-level, the creative best practices for native mobile video include:

  • Hook User in First 2-3 Seconds: In high-speed, scrolling content feeds, video has to grab the user’s attention immediately.
  • Quick Cuts and Close-Ups: Quick cuts, strong point-of-view angles, arresting imagery and close-ups are key to engaging users within the feed.
  • Oversized Text: Calling out product information and dates with clear, concise and large text is critical to driving home the message to users.
  • Call to Action: Brands should ensure through the text around the native video ad unit and the end of the video includes a clear call to action and/or compelling offer. Examples may include offering a coupon, encouraging an install of an app or simply providing the option to see a longer video to learn more about a product.
  • Make Sound Secondary: Often, users have their devices audio on mute, so the creative should not overly rely on sound.

“While we know that not all campaigns are created equal, this study highlights that native mobile video campaigns not only work but can be especially effective when following creative best practices,” said Andrew Lipsman, Vice President, Marketing and Insights at comScore. “This fast-emerging ad format shows great promise, but demands a new set of creative skills in order to maximize effectiveness. It’s important for brands to make an impression quickly and engage with the consumer on a more visual level to drive campaign success.”

Most notably, short-form video ads in the 5-10 seconds range have different constraints, requiring a creative approach to capture consumers’ attention. Campaigns cut from a 30-second ad to fit this format understandably underperform.

“We saw strong results for our native video ads built according to Opera Mediaworks’ creative practices for our client campaigns,” says Sarah Bachman, VP, Mobile Strategy at Horizon Media. “Not only did brand awareness KPIs see significant lift but also lower funnel metrics like intent to watch and likelihood to recommend performed extremely well.”

Key takeaways about purpose-built, native mobile video ads

  • Enable access to new, premium-video inventory for advertisers.
  • Drive significant lift for upper- and lower-funnel metrics.
  • Outperform mobile norms in driving action and engagement.
  • Deliver greatest results when creative best practices are closely followed.
  • Form a growing part of a comprehensive mobile-video-marketing mix to achieve ROI/ROA.

To see the full study, visit www.operamediaworks.com/innovation-and-insights/opera-mediaworks-comscore-native-video-study


In Q1 2015, Opera Mediaworks launched the “Native Video Fund” with leading advertisers to produce purpose-built, mobile-first native video ad creative and to measure the results of each of these campaigns. Following Opera Mediaworks’ data-driven, creative best practices, partners ran campaigns featuring their mobile-first, creative across feed-based, native video inventory within top premium apps.

In order to measure the impact of exposure to the video ads, a test-control methodology was used. The control group was served with an invitation to take the survey. Upon clicking the invitation, they were re-directed to the survey. The exposed group was served with an invitation to take the survey after having viewed the video ad.

Opera Mediaworks and comScore analyzed mobile campaigns from Carl’s Jr., HISTORY, adidas, GM (OnStar), Lenovo, the United States Navy, Machine Zone (Game of War), Disney (Cinderella) and Spike (Framework).


[1] comScore defines mobile norms as the aggregate of mobile ad formats across mobile web and mobile app

About comScore

comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a global leader in digital media analytics, makes audiences and advertising more valuable by providing trusted, independent metrics that help businesses understand how people interact with content and advertising across TV and digital services, giving a total view of the consumer. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com/companyinfo