Going Global in Mobile Video: 8 Factors to Consider
“Audiences around the world are overwhelmingly open to mobile video advertisements that relate to their context and viewing patterns,” said Joe Laszlo, senior director of the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, upon last month’s release of a comprehensive IAB study of smartphone video viewers in 24 countries.
That sounds like great news for marketers looking to grow their mobile video campaigns worldwide. But buyers beware! When you go global, you can’t just throw what you’ve been doing in one country into a global pot. Instead, you need to cook up separate recipes. And lots of them – because you’ll face vast differences region by region, country by country, and even within countries.
What kinds of differences? Here are 8 factors you should consider:
1. Regulations. You’d better know the rules for every country you go into. Some countries have surprisingly strict regulations around advertising. For example, if you plan to offer a coupon or other offers with your ad, take note that some countries have specific guidelines for how you can run promotions. It even varies state by state in the U.S.
2. Creative. An ad that gets a great response in one place might not resonate with viewers in another. Even when you’re creating an ad just for one market, different cultural mores can bite you if you don’t have local expertise. For example, in some countries, “comparative advertising” (think Apple vs. Mac commercials) is viewed as crass and unacceptable. Be aware of perceptions like these and adapt your creative and narrative accordingly.
3. Translation problems. The first place to start is quality translation (trust us, you don’t want to skimp here). Ensure that both text and voiceovers are translated correctly. You might have to make some changes to the script to ensure you can get your message across in 30 seconds or less. If you’re not convinced, consider this classic translation faux pas from advertising history shared by Inc’s Geoffrey James: “Coca-Cola’s brand name, when first marketed in China, was sometimes translated as ‘Bite The Wax Tadpole.’”
4. Sharing tendencies. Does your campaign depend on sharing? Take heed. While the IAB’s survey found that 68% of users worldwide share videos, the number varied widely depending on location. Asia contained both the most sharers (China, at 81%), and the fewest (Japan, about 30%). Three-quarters were found to share video in the US, Canada and Latin America, with Brazil and Columbia leading on that continent. In Europe (68% overall), Italy and Spain have the lead.
5. The need for mobile-unique content. Are you looking to increase frequency by throwing your TV ad onto mobile? Don’t! The IAB found that 82% of viewers worldwide want to see mobile video ads that relate to the content they’re viewing – an ad experience that makes contextual sense within the platform. It’s also key to consider audio – since consumers often switch it off while they’re in-app, your ad will need to resonate for viewers with sound turned on or off.
6. Gaming trends. When advertising your game, it’s helpful to know where people are playing the most mobile games. yStats’ Global Mobile Gaming Market 2015 report found that a quarter of a billion people are playing mobile games in China, and the numbers are growing very rapidly in South Korea and Southeast Asia. Mexico leads in Latin America and South Africa in the Middle East/Africa region.
7. What types of apps are popular. Consumers in some markets may be more likely to download certain genres of apps. In South Korea, RPG and hard-core games are very popular while U.S. gamers tend to favor casual and puzzle games. Social apps like Facebook and Instagram are used most in the U.S., according to App Annie, and messaging apps like WhatsApp, LINE, and KakaoTalk lead in the U.K., Germany, Japan, and South Korea.
8. What kinds of mobile ads people prefer. According to a PwC study for instance, Brazilians love to watch video ads. Indeed, mobile video was overwhelmingly the most popular type of mobile ad, preferred by 55% of survey respondents. Mobile video also led the list in China, preferred by 36%.
Does that mean you should launch a mobile video campaign in Brazil? Perhaps. But first make sure you’ve considered all the other factors above.
To do that, you need to know each region. And to know each region, you need expertise. That can be obtained either by opening offices globally and staffing them with local experts – or, more easily, by relying on local publishers and ad partners who already know the lay of the land. Keep in mind that even within a country, different regions may have their own regulations and cultural mores.
Most of all, remember that globalization can’t succeed without localization.