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Why We Love Vertical Videos

27 September 2019

Vertical video has traditionally been regarded as less favourably by production professionals. However this is changing as it has become clear that vertical videos offer an innovative way for individuals and businesses to tell stories and advertise. We like the creative opportunity that vertical advertising brings to our screens at HYGH - and how vertical screens makes better use of space in a crowded environment.

The Vertical Video as an Extension of the Mobile Phone

While a visit to the cinema has become an occasional treat and TV a nightly routine for many, the new reality is that we are on our phones constantly. 60% of videos are currently being watched on phones and tablets, and a staggering 94% of us interact with our phones vertically. Research by Receptiv (since acquired by Verve) found viewer completion is 90% higher for vertical videos compared to horizontal videos. They also found that less than 30% of users turn their phones sideways to watch an ad.

We saw Snapchat pioneer vertical filming, with Instagram and Facebook soon to follow with their ‘Stories’ functions. Vertical is also central to Instagram’s IGTV launch in 2018, enabling video content up to 60 minutes long – only in vertical format.


“We’re evolving with the times; these days, people are watching less TV and more digital video,” the company said in a statement. “By 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic. And we’ve learned that younger audiences are spending more time with amateur content creators and less time with professionals.”

The company has since rescinded its vertical only stance, but its efforts bought vertical video to new audiences and offered new challenges for advertisers and creatives as more and more platforms embrace the tech. Research by Buffer this year further found that vertical video consistently outperformed square video within the Facebook News Feed.

Why Vertical?

Up close and personal filming can bring a greater level of personalisation.

According to videographer, Stefan Neuendorf of One Bear Films,

"In a saturated film market, where you've seen everything, you suddenly have a whole new way of producing. You lose left and right, but you win top and bottom. For example, the focus on one person can be significantly increased as you capture more body and less landscape."

Many creatives are embracing the new trend as filmmakers and advertisers see the opportunity:

Coffee makers Nespresso have had a competition for the last four years that empowers filmmakers to tell a story through the format of vertical video:

Adidas launched its first vertical ad in 2016

Music artists, including Sam Smith, Ariana Grande, and Billie Eilish have been quick to embrace videos in vertical mode.

Evidence this is more than a mobile phone fad, Samsung recently unveiled "The Sero," a 43-inch quantum-dot QLED TV with an attention-grabbing gimmick. It can be flipped around 90 degrees, letting you watch Instagram, Snap and other smartphone videos in their native vertical configurations. Samsung said it wanted to diversify its lineup and came up with the idea by studying the tastes of mobile-loving millennials.


How to Film Good Vertical Videos

The rise of vertical video means brands have had to rethink their strategy about how they tell a story through video.

Stefan advises,

"There are currently two ways to produce: You can shoot in 4k. In post-production, you can cut the image from the 16:9 material so that it becomes a 9:16 in HD. But you have to be careful during the shooting because only a small part of the content remains. The other option is relatively simple: Turn the camera."

Pond 5 offer great design tips for filming with your phone:

Taking it up a notch, Think Media offer a detailed step by step tutorial in making vertical videos for IGTV :

Nespresso also facilitated some great BAFTA videos in the lead up to their competition

While landscape films with never go away - cinemas show no sign of going anywhere for- vertical videos are here to stay.  

Want to Advertise on our Screens?


Our basic guidelines are that all videos need to be:

  • Visually engaging to members of the public walking past
  • A combination of text and visual content
  • Appropriate to all who utilise public space including children (thus no violence, nudity, etc.)
  • Understandable without sound
  • Filmed in vertical mode
  • 1080x1920

Contact us to find out more!

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