Mobile is on the rise. That’s no secret. Far from it, you can barely go a week without hearing about ever-growing engagements and rising visitor statistics. But what type of content best suits this newly established device? How can we stay competitive across the widening sphere of small screen social?

Tackling tight attention spans

The rise of mobile, and subsequently social media, means dealing with a narrow window of opportunity. A recent Microsoft consumer study claims that the human attention span today is 8 seconds. The goldfish has an attention span of 9 seconds.

The average user will scroll through web pages at high speed, barely glancing at sponsored posts or banner ads. They want a quick news blast, a succinct tutorial or to check message feeds. They want micro-moments.

Digital artists must mitigate shorter attention spans than ever before. What’s the point in crafting a long, in-depth promo for YouTube when users can simply click the five second skip button?

Branching out from traditional video models, we tackled this lack of engagement with a series of stop-motion recipes for the scotch whisky brand, Monkey Shoulder. It’s not everyday a prop list includes 27kg ice blocks, a Hot Wheels track set and modeling balloons. The videos quickly went viral, proving that a little imagination can go a long way, even when weighed against 8 second attention spans.

Every modern artist needs to understand, and work around, typical user behaviours – whether you’re dealing with motion graphics or still images, photography or CGI, 2D or 3D animation.

Make it motion

Mobile apps that leverage rich video content – such as Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat – have expanded to allow consumers to express themselves in many ways, making mobile a built-in solution for content provider revenue. From 360° film to a simple zoom shot, 80% of global internet traffic will be attributed to video by 2020.

Behind the scenes at The Operators Creative studio, our artists are experimenting with in-camera processes and multimedia formats – everything from live-­action commercials to stop-­frame animation and CGI. All things motion.

We showed off the results in a campaign for Samsung’s new suite of QLED TVs, developing a series of ideas that could come to life as a short, snappy, looping video on Facebook and Instagram. Videos that would feel natively social, but really stand out in the feed. Each video was produced within the parameters of a ‘Premium Social’ mindset. Content that maintains APA broadcast standards across social media and the small screen, in response to the increasingly integrated mobile media world. Go ‘Premium’, or go home.

Mass customisation

Personalisation is everywhere. It’s in our Facebook feed, our Netflix queue, even in our shopping experiences. With the amount of time being spent online and via mobile apps, the velocity of data collection is getting faster. For the first time ever, we are able to pinpoint customer interests and activities to tailor content accordingly.

Most mobile content is built in such a way that it can be manipulated depending on audience demographics. In a recent campaign for Heineken, we shot the product in front of a green screen and drafted several CGI environments. Imagery could then be tailored to the current location of a mobile phone, personalised per user.

To keep your imagery competitive in the overcrowded online sphere, customisation is a must. Finding ways to customise content quickly and efficiently should be a priority for every modern artist.

Scott Freeman and Ben Le Tourneau

Scott Freeman and Ben Le Tourneau


Scott Freeman and Ben Le Tourneau are Integrated Director and Co-Owners at The Operators.