Think Big, Act Small: Mobile Video Advertising in India and Indonesia

Ravi Dixit / September 2016

Not only are India and Indonesia the two most important video markets in Asia, they’re also the ones to watch when it comes to mobile usage. India alone has 350 million internet users, all revved to consume online video. Now, with these massive mobile numbers, marketers haven’t been sure how big of an impact the small screen can have. So, we put mobile video to the test.

India and Indonesia have seen the impact of mobile firsthand: most newcomers to the online world have leapfrogged desktop and gone straight to their mobile devices to access the web. In India alone, 90% of users who access the internet on their smartphones consider them their primary devices to do just that,2 while video apps have experienced a 20% YoY increase in reach, and mobile watch time has more than doubled since January 2015.3

To help marketers understand how advertising exposure on mobile TrueView, YouTube’s skippable ad format, and TV can affect brand and ad awareness in APAC, we conducted a one-of-a-kind, experimental brand impact study. In partnership with IPSOS, we recruited 1,500 mobile internet users each in India and Indonesia and exposed them to a total of nine ads. We randomly assigned respondents into one of four groups to capture the causal relationship between advertising exposure and brand lift.

The four groups were shown

Ads on TV alone
Ads on mobile TrueView alone
Ads on both TV and mobile TrueView
No ads (control)

The same ads were used on TV and on mobile TrueView. Participants weren’t allowed to skip the TV ads by changing the channel, but they could skip them on mobile TrueView.

Here are the key insights for innovative marketers in APAC.

Mobile TrueView + TV are better together

Past research has shown that running ads across two media formats is generally more effective at boosting brand metrics, and our results for brand and ad awareness here were no different. Measured against the control group, TV ads combined with mobile TrueView ads were about 1.5X more effective at boosting top-of-mind brand awareness than just TV ads alone.

act samlla
act small video

As APAC consumers jump from device to device seamlessly, your brand strategy should as well. You may risk missing out on a sizeable chunk of viewers if you advertise on TV alone, so consider adding YouTube to your marketing mix.

Mobile TrueView alone = TV alone

We saw that TV + mobile TrueView was most effective, but what about TV on its own and mobile TrueView on its own? Our findings showed each platform was about equal in its influence.

When participants were shown only TV ads or only mobile TrueView ads, the results were similar, with mobile TrueView alone seeing a 1.3X higher lift than TV alone.

mobile video

Marketers can proceed with confidence in mobile TrueView, knowing that for key brand metrics, it can be more influential than TV.

The longer viewers are exposed to TrueView ads, the higher the performance

Lastly, we found that the longer viewers are exposed to TrueView ads, the higher the lift in brand metrics. We looked at people who had seen at least two exposures of the ad on mobile TrueView and saw brand and ad awareness grow as total seconds of exposure increased.


Marketers: consider mobile from the get-go

One thing is clear: in APAC, mobile screens may be small, but they drive big impact on brand metrics. Our results showed that combining TV with mobile TrueView delivered the highest impact on brand and ad awareness, so marketers should plan for mobile video right from the start. The ads we tested weren’t optimized for mobile, so think of ways your creative can be repurposed for the platform to get the highest impact.

As a lean-in platform, mobile video is now a great way to connect and engage with consumers across the region. The results from our tests were clear, but don’t take our word for it—develop a campaign with mobile video in mind from the onset, and watch your brand grow.

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