Yahoo plans to release research Thursday supporting why traditional media buyers might want to pull time on broadcast TV to allocate budgets to mobile advertising. Supporting consumer behavior, the data accompanies the rollout of three rich media formats: Yahoo Mobile Screen Takeover, Yahoo Mobile Customized Expandable Ads, and iPad Tap to Video Ads.
Traditional advertisers who remove one or two TV ads from their mix will not notice any difference on the performance of that campaign if they allocate those funds toward mobile to find new audiences, according to Paul Cushman, senior director of mobile sales strategy at Yahoo. "A creative director who says he can't do anything with mobile is last year's story," he says. "HTML5 will become the major driver for scale and engagement within mobile. The ability for it to provide an app-like experience is significant and should not be underestimated."
Cushman, a mobile evangelist, says brands continue to waste ad dollars. The numbers revealing this trend sit behind Yahoo's firewall in mail and Front-Page data, Yahoo's "crown jewel," of which third-party companies can't gain access. The critical data suggests that consumers reach for their mobile devices while watching TV during a commercial break.
Yahoo supports between 49 million and 50 million unique mobile Internet users monthly. Commercial breaks during live TV events drive mobile Internet use, according to Cushman. Yahoo's analysis of consumer activity across the company's network found a correlation between TV commercial breaks and spikes in mobile Internet use. During commercials that ran with the 2010 Academy Awards, traffic and engagement on the Yahoo Mobile site increased on average 12%. Browser activity rose 125% on Yahoo News. Users consumed 39% more content on Yahoo Front Page, search rose 13%, and users checked and sent email 6% more.
Similarly, for the 2010 World Cup, traffic and engagement on the Yahoo Mobile site rose on average of 10% during commercials. Browsing activity rose 57% on Yahoo News, 24% more users consumed content on Yahoo Front Page, and search activity rose 12% on Yahoo Search.
Yahoo has offered the expandable ad format for more than a year, but customized the offering and began designing the other two formats during the past year to create a package for advertisers. Consumers are becoming more comfortable with mobile ads. Research from Yahoo Mobile and Nielsen suggests that the immediacy and portability of the mobile phone drives conversions. When consumers use their mobile phone to do research, about half the time they plan to make a purchase.
Yahoo isn't the only ad tech company capitalizing on mobile. Google also touted Wednesday high returns on investments for mobile ads on Google's network. Dai Pham, who supports Google mobile ads product marketing, writes in a blog post that Roy's restaurant managed to achieve click-though rates 539% higher on mobile than on desktop by investing in mobile-specific campaigns and hyperlocal advertising.