Marketing Tech Firm Curalate Introduces Vertical Video E-Commerce Product – Wall Street Journal

Thanks to Snapchat and Instagram, lots of people are watching vertical video on their phones. And lots of media and advertisers are producing vertical video content to pounce on this mobile trend.

But are people ready to shop in this format?

The technology company Curalate, which helps marketers use digital visual assets to drive and track e-commerce, has introduced a new ad product called Tilt that is designed for the vertical video world.

Curalate, which works with over 800 marketers, has signed on Urban Outfitters


as the first Tilt partner.

Why does the world need an ad unit for vertical videos? Can’t you just reformat banners and web video ads to work on mobile devices?

Apu Gupta, Curalate co-founder and chief executive, says that people have become accustomed to tapping through a series of video clips and pausing longer on things that interest them, particularly on Snapchat, and advertising needs to reflect this reality. So, Tilt ads are designed to let a brand create vertical video ads that work more like a Snapchat or Instagram Story. Users can jump to the product or information that interests them most and potentially buy something through the ad.

“Vertical videos are more immersive and more personal for people,” Mr. Gupta said. He mentioned that when people search for videos of recipes or DIY projects—and they are accustomed to scrolling through Snapchat or Instagram stories—the experience can be frustrating as they wait for the part of the clip that matters to them.

“These ads are designed to be empowering,” he said.

As part of the rollout, Urban Outfitters has created a new mobile, vertical-friendly site called UOTV using the Tilt technology. On UOTV, the retailer might create a vertical video story—i.e. a series of annotated images and short videos spliced together featuring a room makeover or a bedroom set, replete with lots of products. People can jump to the part of the story that interests them, and then theoretically buy something via a “Shop the Story” link.

Initially, the plan is for brands to use Tilt ads on their own websites and social media accounts. But Mr. Gupta said that it isn’t out of the question that Tilt ads could run as paid ads on content sites or social networks.

Write to Mike Shields at

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