Starburst has long been famous for its iconic square fruit candies. In a break from longstanding tradition, however, the company is now launching its first vertically-shaped candy: Swirlers.

In a new video segment promoting the product, Starburst plays on the vertical novelty through its “Best Enjoyed Vertically” campaign, geared specifically for mobile and other vertical viewing.

Viewers will quickly notice that something is different: individuals relax in a salon and share Swirlers amidst a setting where things start to go a little, er, sideways.

A Derivative Initiative?

It’s only fair to note that Starburst can hardly take credit for the ingenious set-flipping idea. Earlier this year, the UK-based Goes Wrong Show aired a 30-minute TV episode filmed primarily on a 90-degree set. (You can see a preview at this link).

But Starburst’s derivation can be forgiven – after being inundated with coronavirus messaging since March, it’s refreshing to see some quality creative advertising back in the game.

Capitalizing on Vertical Viewing

It also optimizes viewing potential by capitalizing on a broader trend: the rise in vertical viewership. By some estimates, smartphone users hold their phones vertically 94 percent of the time. And amongst millennial viewers at least, even videos aren’t enough to inspire them to make the horizontal flip most of the time: 70 percent don’t bother, according to AdNews.

Then there’s the smoking gun: the fact that vertical videos have a 90% higher completion rate than horizontal videos, according to research from MediaBrix. Further data from Hennessy and Buffer and Animoto indicates that on Facebook, vertical video campaigns have yielded higher CPM rates than square videos.

For more information on producing effective vertical content for your brand, check out our post “How to Create Vertical Content.”