Make Mobile Advertising Welcome

How do brands balance the act of innovation and intrusion when battling for user’s attention? How do publishers better monetize rapidly growing mobile traffic without compromising the user’s content journey with something that looks like a three-ring circus of colliding ads? What do type of mobile ad formats do consumers actually prefer?

Last week Google, Celtra, PadSquad and Airwave/OMD joined the IAB to discuss how to create beautiful and meaningful mobile ad experiences that consumers actually value.

ICYMI, here are some key take aways! 

1. Most people in the U.S. are using their mobile phones. This year, there will be 262M mobile phones users which represents 80% of the U.S. population  consuming content on their mobile device. Why is there still such a mismatch of mobile ad content to mobile ad experiences?

2. Digital creativity has been lost. Marketers are not investing nearly enough in their mobile creative—90% of spend goes to the media buy while only 10% goes to the creative development. Did you know? 55 cents of every dollar spent on mobile ads is wasted to poor mobile ad experiences.

3. R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Mobile users are well-informed, more savvy, and selective with their time then ever before. In a way, ad blocking is our fault as an industry. We took advantage of our most prized asset—the user—instead of innovating beyond bad advertising. We accepted display standards and forced them on the smaller screen. Invest in creative that is right for the user and their environment. A recent IAB study has proven that polite ad formats help boost awareness, ad recall, and purchase intent, outperforming the standard 320×50 expandable banner.

4. Form + Function Matters: A good mobile advertising experience has the perfect balance of form and function. Simply put, mobile consumers want control over their UX. It’s no surprise that innovative ad formats, like the interscroller, that are powered with a simple scroll to reveal and dismiss prove to be more effective that disruptive overlays and pop-ups. Net, net…the introduction of a brand ad can make or break the entire experience but that doesn’t mean that the content should be ignored. Keep the content/design clean but interactive. Add value to your brand storytelling with device features that enhance, not distract, your overall message.

5. Take ownership. Publishers and marketers need to demand smarter mobile solutions from their partners. There may be short term costs of moving away from disruptive ad formats but in the end, delivering a premium advertising experience will result in a happy, engaged audience and better ROI.

Learn how to make mobile advertising welcome! Listen in on the full webinar recording here:


Mobile Brand Storytelling #FTW

What makes an epic mobile brand storytelling experience? In my role at PadSquad, I am frequently asked questions about creative best practices, what’s working in mobile, the newest shiny object—and the list goes on. Unfortunately there never is one answer that fits all.

Creative requires a custom approach and is such a vital part of a campaign’s success. The problem is that marketer’s are not investing nearly enough in their mobile creative—90% of spend goes to the media buy while only 10% goes to the creative development. Ultimately, the creative is the only thing the consumer sees/touches and it plays the starring role in impact and ROI.

As a mobile marketer and consumer, I’ve experienced some really good mobile ads but unfortunately more often I’ve come across some extremely horrid ads. As an industry, I think we tend to over complicate things and take the easy road versus the high. Sometimes it’s best to bring it back to the basics. Here are some simple thoughts to consider for creating a positive mobile brand experience.

  1. The 10 second rule! Bring it back to your adolescent days when 10 seconds really did matter. Well this applies to mobile advertising as well! Did you know the average human attention span is actually less, at a whopping 8 seconds, and sadly declining specifically when it comes to the use of mobile devices. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of hooking the user quickly while also making it matter.
  2. Keep it simple. The old saying rings true. Don’t over complicate the experience and try to accomplish too much. Think about the actions you want your consumer to take and align that with the mobile creative experience. What are you trying to achieve? Brand engagement, product discovery, video views, store locator, downloads? Keep focus on the user flow and help guide them (and quickly) down the path you want them to follow.
  3. Use, don’t abuse the device. Connect the online and offline world with the native functionality of mobile devices. As mobile marketers, we are given a trove of features to choose from but do it with intention. Tell a better brand story with distinct capabilities, like Haptic, Tilt, Shake, 3D Touch, Gyroscope. etc.And don’t forget about more practical integrations like add to calendar, e-commerce abilities, maps and location-based tools.
  4. Proceed with caution. It’s easy to get caught up in the latest ad tech craze, like VR, 360 video, etc. It’s great to be first-to-market. Trust me, we love that. But be strategic about your approach.  Does it help enhance your brand story? Don’t force something if it’s not natural. Respect the user, their time and their experience. It will pay off in the end.
  5. Think and build mobile-first. Mobile consumer behavior is very different from desktop and television. Build your creative for the mobile screen and the mobile user. Replicating assets across platform is not the answer. For example, simply cutting down a television spot to a :15 mobile video is not enough. In most cases the audio on a user’s mobile device is off. Consider building for that behavior and rely more on visual cues to hone in on important brand messaging.
  6. Is it thumb-worthy? This may sound crazy but…stop thinking like a marketer for one minute and picture yourself as the end user. Would you stop and engage? Does the experience leave you with a positive feeling, wanting more?
  7. Test + Learn! Work with your mobile media partner to gather insights throughout the campaign. Act smart and fast, fix what’s not working. Try testing a variation of creative but don’t get in over your head. Two to three variations are enough. Use that learning to enhance performance through individual pieces of creative.

The adage is true: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

Just Say NO to Mobile Ad Disruption and YES to Polite Engagement!

As an industry it is time to unite and just say NO to pesky mobile overlays and disruption! Grabbing the attention of consumers is no easy task when faced with issues like ad blocking, viewability and smaller mobile screens. It’s important now more than ever for marketers and publishers to explore better ways to engage their audiences without disrupting the user experience. So what’s next in mobile advertising?

PadSquad partnered with the IAB and Celtra to put an innovative new mobile ad format to the test. Meet the interscroller. It’s user-friendly inline delivery within the mobile content stream is user-controlled with a natural swipe gesture for polite reveal and dismissal. This premium emerging ad format provides an ideal full screen canvas perfect for high-impact brand storytelling without compromising the overall UX.

PadSquad, which supports Celtra’s interscroller format at scale across premium publisher properties, built an interscroller ad using Schick Hydo Razor creative, as well as an equivalent expandable 320×50 banner, to use as a baseline for comparison.

The Results?
The interscroller boosted awareness, ad recall, and purchase intent, outperforming the standard expandable banner in nearly every category. Equally importantly, the mobile audience loved it. Respondents viewed the interscroller execution as less invasive, more distinctive and enjoyable!

Some particular highlights of how the interscroller performed relative to the standard expandable banner:

  • Boosted aided category awareness by almost 26 percent (56% versus 30%).
  • Increased ad awareness by almost 10 percent (46% versus 37%).
  • People who saw it were seventeen percent more likely to perceive the ad as “distinctive” (67% versus 50%).
  • And they were also thirteen percent more likely to say they enjoyed the ad (45% versus 32%).

Want to learn more? Download the full study here