In Social Media, Speaking

Recently, I had invited Josiah Tay Guan Hin to address the members of the Professional Speakers Association of India. We have a monthly meetup and we invite a global expert to share his/her expertise related to Professional Speaking with the audience. Guan is the Founder and Global Chief Creative Officer of TGH Collective. He was earlier the Global Executive Creative Director of J.Walter Thomson.

As professional speakers, we are all storytellers and if we need to be great at storytelling, then we should master the digital medium. Guan, in his talk, shared how mobile phones have become the default way of content consumption. It has long ago overtaken TV, Radio, newspapers and even PC. He also mentioned that in developed countries like the US, Japan and Singapore, digital penetration is almost 100%. In India, we are still hovering around the 20% mark. This is a blessing in disguise as the digital growth is predicted to see a hockey stick growth. The number of mobile phones in India is greater than the population of the country. With 4G connectivity becoming prevalent across the country and 5G soon to come, India will soon leapfrog in mobile content consumption.

Guan also mentioned that we host our phones vertically 95% of the times. The form factor of the phones makes it easy for us to hold it vertically than horizontally. This explains why Facebook Stories, Snapchat and most video applications are now focused on vertical formats.

Guan showed various examples of how Brands have started to use the vertical formats in mobile advertising. He referenced this fantastic article in the AdWeek by Kay Hsu, the Global Creative Lead of Instagram where he talks about how the world’s creative people use vertical videos to narrate their brand’s stories.

He also showed examples of KitKat advertisements which were built purely keeping the mobile audience in mind. No, these ads were not TV ads optimized for the mobile. These are mobile-first ads. Examples of these can be seen on KitKat’s Facebook page.

The session lasted over one hour with lots of questions thrown in. By the end of the session, everyone were convinced that vertical storytelling is the way to go. The session was so impactful that I started to shoot videos only in vertical formats.