Why Facebook Creative Shop's Director Favors Quick, Creative Mobile Ads

Hal Conick
AMA Annual
Current average rating    
Key Takeaways

What? The human attention span is getting shorter and video ads are shortening with it.

So what? Advertisers can no longer truly buy media, as the consumer has all the power in seeing what they want to see. Creativity is now essential.

Now what? Companies should strive to be more agile by testing small campaigns and favoring prototypes over storyboards.

​Sept. 14, 2017

Quick, creative ads are the key to attracting the modern consumer


Mobile video is white space. That’s according to Andrew Keller, global creative director of Facebook Creative Shop, who told the audience of the AMA’s 2017 Annual Conference that he sees vast potential in building innovative content for people via mobile video campaigns.

Video ad campaigns are already getting shorter and more interactive, as the human thought process is getting faster. Keller says the average human processed a thought in 0.3 seconds in 2001; in 2014, thought processing time was down to 0.03 seconds. 

People swipe through 300 feet of content every day on their social media feeds, Keller says, something akin to “climbing the statue of liberty every day through that amount of content.” Cooking shows, which run at 45 minutes on TV, can be as quick as 45 seconds on social feeds, allowing viewers to consumer more in less time. This has all put the average user in control of the media they consume.

“You don’t get any time, all time has to be earned,” Keller says. “Just because you buy 30 seconds, it doesn’t mean you get that time. What this means is that creativity matters more than it ever has.”

Every company now needs to be creative in its mobile marketing. Old skills—like art direction, cinematography and copywriting—are still essential for great advertising, but new skills like looping, framing and motion design are becoming essential as ads become as short as two seconds. 

“It’s not a formula,” Keller says of short mobile ads. “We've seen lots of different ways of doing this. I believe it’s a new art form. I don’t mean art in a pretentious way, but it will be something that takes a form of art [at a certain point].”

Keller recommends marketers prioritize creative assets with 70% going to short video (immediate assets), 20% to interactive ads and 10% to immersive ads.

Keller imagines a campaign with a quick teaser video, a video that lets people see a bit more, then a longer portion—perhaps a live broadcast on Twitch, Facebook Live or Periscope. Keller says advertisers should be creating a “content ecosystem” and make use of the newly popular short assets, making them fit on the platform they’re posting the videos on. 

There are three questions advertisers should be asking themselves, Keller says: 

  • ​Can we test and learn as we go? Small campaigns can be tested and learned from quickly.

  • Should we be making prototypes instead of storyboards? This would allow for more agility and speed in content creation.

  • Are we faster together? Meaning how can advertisers collaborate with others in the industry?

This last point, collaboration, is one where Keller believers the ad industry can see huge growth. The copywriter and the art director were the last great innovation in advertising collaboration, he says. “Everybody copied that innovation and it drove better work across the board from the entire industry.”

“Collaboration is at the heart of where we need to go to work (on) all the challenges we need to face as an industry,” Keller says. “Consumers are moving faster. As an industry, we need to accelerate the ways we learn, create and collaborate in this new mobile world.”

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Author Bio:

Hal Conick
Hal Conick is a staff writer for the AMA’s magazines and e-newsletters. He can be reached at hconick@ama.org or on Twitter at @HalConick.
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