Advertising in the Entertainment Industry: How VidMob Can Further Support Growth

By : Jack Stokesbury


As a trailblazing company creating the field of Intelligent Creative, it is important that VidMob keeps moving forward. There are always more possibilities of ways to deliver more effective and specialized data-driven insights. As a VidMob intern for the Spring quarter, I wanted to make sure my capstone project could leave a lasting impact on the company beyond my internship’s duration. This way, my capstone project could fulfill its goal to be a culminating internship experience, while also working towards VidMob’s pursuit of evolving creativity for the better.

When I first started to think about a capstone project topic, not only did I want one that would leave a lasting impact, but also one that would align with my academic interests. As a Dartmouth College rising senior working towards minors in Creative Writing and Film Studies, my work with the Strategic Client Management (SCM) team aligns with my interests. Analyzing creative and providing actionable insights has kept me engaged in the creative process while learning how to structure a compelling narrative in bite-sized content forms. Still, for my capstone, I wanted to dive deeper.

Reaching out to Garrett Woods and Andrew Valdez, two members of my February onboarding class on the entertainment vertical team, I wasn’t sure what to expect. While I knew the pair from onboarding meetings, I had not worked extensively with the entertainment team during my time as an SCM intern. Thankfully for me, Garrett and Andrew had a task for me to tackle, and asked me to explore the entertainment space, focusing on how VidMob can best provide value to relevant clients. Through this conversation back in April, I was able to form the basis of my capstone presentation around developing a roadmap for VidMob’s expansion in the entertainment space.

To tackle this assignment, I started wide, looking at the entertainment industry as a whole, and worked down towards narrow VidMob-specific product improvements. With this approach, I could better understand the shape of entertainment coming out of the COVID pandemic and understand what VidMob can do to better position itself for the years to come.

One of the major trends facing the entertainment industry today is the shift towards digital content. In 2020, 76% of the global market share for theatrical and home/mobile entertainment came from digital content, compared to just 48% in 2019 (MPA THEME Report). While some of this shift may be reversed in a post-pandemic world, the digital acceleration that was put in motion by COVID will likely change the industry forever.

Source: 2019 THEME Report, Motion Picture Association, Inc.








Source: 2020 THEME Report, Motion Picture Association, Inc.

Along with the shift towards digital content, digital ad spend increased within the entertainment industry. Compared to 2020, eMarketer expects a 20.7% increase in digital ad spend within the industry in 2021. This increase will put the ad spend above the levels reached in 2019, and continue the upward trend in digital ad spend that predates the pandemic. Despite the decreased ad spend overall in 2020, the entertainment industry still increased spend on video ads specifically by an estimated 13.1% (eMarketer).

Source: US Media and Entertainment Digital Ad Spending 2020, eMarketer.

So what does this mean for VidMob? It means that as advertising trends in the entertainment industry evolve, VidMob has an opportunity to support clients in the entertainment industry in more powerful ways than ever before. To support this growth I explored characteristics specific to entertainment which the VidMob team should consider as they build out capabilities to best service entertainment clients, found below.

  • Fast-moving advertising cycles: Depending on the content (movie or show) and the release style (theatrical, TV, or streaming), entertainment companies will have different timelines to promote the content leading into its release. Compared to ad campaigns in other industries like CPG or retail, these campaigns can move significantly faster, meaning the VidMob team needs to be able to provide valuable insights despite shorter turnaround times.
  • A wide range of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Depending on the campaign and relevant team’s specific goals, there are varying KPIs that will hold value. For example, a client focused on promoting a specific show may be most interested in Engagement Rate, while a client focused on streaming platform growth may prefer to see an analysis based on Registration Completion Rate or Cost per Registration.
  • Genre breakdowns: Because entertainment content covers such a vast range of genres, from kids’ shows to adult animation to the latest action movie, it can be difficult to identify what elements work best for entertainment creative as a whole. In other industries, it may be apparent that featuring certain emotions improves performance, but for entertainment what works well for one genre may not work well for others. For example, when negative emotions were used on Snapchat, CPG and retail clients saw large lifts in views to 25% completion. In contrast, however, entertainment clients saw only a 5.0% lift, likely due to negative emotions affecting genres differently.
  • Massive content catalogs: Because the entertainment industry’s product is the content itself, there are massive amounts of video footage and still images for advertisers to pull into ad creatives. To build the most effective ads, advertisers must recognize the best moments to include from across a movie or a show’s entire run.
  • High audience awareness of content: Building off the vast content catalogs, because the product is content, viewers will connect more deeply to the creative. Fans of a show expect to see the most iconic scenes in advertisements, so the team creating each ad must also be aware of this to capture scenes that match the tone of the advertisement.

With these unique traits addressed, I could dive into the most exciting part of my capstone project: proposing product updates to the VidMob team. The existing Creative Intelligence platform offered through Creative Studio is powerful, but with minor tweaks, it can be even more applicable to entertainment industry clients. In this way, I hope to help VidMob evolve creativity for the better. By beginning to think about the unique characteristics of each industry, VidMob can provide each client with the exact platform tools and human support that they need. In the entertainment industry, it is clear that these will revolve around the ability to provide niche insights for each genre and content type; given the diversity and size of the industry, the possibilities are endless.

So what now? Be on the lookout for new features that allow VidMob to delve deeper into these unique traits and to be a key partner in the entertainment industry’s post-pandemic growth. If you’re interested in learning more about VidMob’s plans for entertainment industry specific capabilities, please reach out to