Mobile Theory Launches Mobile Ads for Non-Mobile Sites
With nearly 80% of major Web sites not yet optimized for mobile browsers, many standard IAB Web units are likely getting wasted on the billions of views coming to Web pages from smartphone browsers. Until those sites get up to mobile speed, ad network Mobile Theory hopes to capture some of those surfers with new “Overpass” ad units that run on standard Web pages in a mobile browser.
The ad unit works as a persistent overlay that looks like a familiar mobile browser or in-app banner, but runs on the base of the browser while the user scrolls a full site. A 300 x 50 banner runs on smartphone browsers and a 728 x 90 appears on iPad browsers.
“The idea is that we are trying to replicate the same experience you see in most in-app advertising with a persistent unit,” says Mobile Theory CEO Scott Swanson. The Overpass unit is also designed to avoid the “fat finger” phenomenon of users mistakenly clicking on a persistent ad when they meant to scroll. The unit requires an unmistakable tap of the finger to activate and includes a close button to eliminate.
Swanson say that many of the publishers they speak with about the unit are seeing 10% to 15% of their site traffic come from devices even without an optimized site. He says that the ad unit even has a place with publishers that are mobile-savvy as well. “We have noticed that even if they have a mobile site, some of their visitors still prefer the full Web site.”
On early adopter VentureBeat, which has a new mobile app but not a mobile-optimized site, the banner fades momentarily as the user scrolls the full site, and then reappears as the browser settles on a new area of the site. VentureBeat is running both ads from the Mobile Theory pool of display and text ad inventory, as well house ads that push people to its app in the Apple App Store.
The company claims a strong click through rate on the Overpass units, states Mobile Theory marketing and ad operations manager Garret McCullum.
This summer, Mobile Theory added a contextual ad unit called ConceptLinks via partner NetSeer that is positioned as an alternative to Google’s AdSense. These ads run text links related to concepts on the current page. Mobile Theory is offering this inventory, as well as units from its display pool for the Overpass program.
Mobile Theory says that the new Overpass units are being used by publishers and advertisers such as AutoDesk, Astra Zeneca and Conoco Phillips.
Mobile Theory is positioning the ad unit as a way for sites to capture mobile users more effectively both for their own app programs and for advertisers instead of or before deploying a robust mobile site. They share revenue with publishers on a CPM basis.