SINGAPORE: Marketers in Southeast Asia are becoming increasingly savvy about engaging consumers with pre-roll ads as smartphones make their mark, a recent report has indicated.

They are engaging mobile users across the region more efficiently as more data becomes available and are generally more responsive to where consumers are moving in terms of devices.

A report by TubeMogul reveals that, although the desktop remains #1 for video ads for now, mobile impressions are poised to take a larger share in Southeast Asia as online video and smartphones grow in popularity. Correspondingly, mobile inventory has soared across the region, Digital Market Asia reported.

How best to utilise pre-roll ads is a topic that has vexed marketers in recent years, but it appears the region's advertisers are beginning to crack the code.

Brands such as skincare brand SK-II are investing significantly in pre-roll, and Coca-Cola ran a variety of Mandarin language pre-roll ads to promote its Chinese New Year branded cans in Singapore this year.

Vietnam, one of the leading markets in Southeast Asia for online video, is experiencing a particular surge in mobile views, according to TubeMogul. An estimated 14% of all pre-roll views in the country were on mobile devices in Q4 2015, or double the share in Q3.

And similar trends are occurring in more developed markets. Australia has more than 389m impressions from mobile pre-roll per day and the amount of mobile inventory has increased 400% since Q4 2014.

Advertisers there are also moving towards 30-second spots, with the share taken by the longer form format increasing from 36% to 41%, although the report also noted that viewers in the Philippines and Singapore preferred shorter 15-second ads.

In Japan, pre-roll inventory in Q4 was up nearly a third (32%) on the previous quarter and up 300% over the year.

"Advertisers are rapidly catching up with changing viewership patterns, buying more mobile inventory and seeing better completion rates," said Taylor Schreiner, VP of research at TubeMogul.

"The numbers coming out of Vietnam and across the region show that consumers are increasingly turning to mobile to enjoy content – and advertisers are catching up with this change in habit."

Data sourced from Digital Market Asia; additional content by Warc staff