Mobile advertisers saw a bump in ad interaction rates during the Thanksgiving holiday, according to mobile ad network Millennial Media. While the company has not released specific findings on this year's activity, the uptick followed the pattern of increased interaction in certain categories during Thanksgiving 2009. Last year, for instance, dating ads had a 19% increase in click-throughs, entertainment ads, 30%; CPG, 31%, and restaurants, 51%.
The jump in restaurant ad clicks was a result of people looking for a meal out while shopping on Black Friday, while GPG marketers benefited from party-planning activity and the entertainment segment got a boost from a spike in moviegoing. In another sign of a seasonal lift, eBay Monday said that Black Friday sales across its various mobile apps had doubled over last year. The company has previously said it expects mobile sales to hit $1.5 billion in 2010.
While automotive was not among the categories that enjoyed a big upswing in mobile clicks, the Millennial metrics report for October shows the segment made solid gains this year. Automotive has been a top 10 ad vertical on the ad network for the last seven months, with ad spending up nearly 300% in 2010. That compares to an overall mobile ad spending increase of 169% in the auto segment.
Millennial also found that auto in-market intenders are browsing auto-related content on mobile to research their new car purchase one to three times a month. "These findings demonstrate that during the highly-researched car buying process, consumers are incorporating mobile into their research and purchase actions on a recurrent basis," the report stated. More than one in three campaigns (35%) used behavioral targeting to reach specific types of in-market consumers, whether they were looking for luxury cars, SUVs, or trucks, for instance.
Among other highlights from Millennial's latest report, impressions increased 34% over the prior month and average monthly page views jumped to 171 from 128. The number of ads requested per page view was steady at one. Ad requests from Android phones were up 65%, while those from BlackBerrys rose 43% from September. The growing number of iPads in circulation helped ad requests more than double (up 112%) from the Apple tablet.
Mobile ad impressions generated by the iPad and newer tablets like Samsung's Android-powered Galaxy Tab should continue to rise. Gartner has revised downward its projections for worldwide PC shipments this year and 2011 as growing tablet sales cut into the desktop market. Citigroup expects 35 million tablets to be sold next year.
Meanwhile, social media is playing a bigger role in mobile ad campaigns. Social media represented 26% of ad calls-to-action (post-click) on the Millennial network in October, up from 8% the month before. (A given campaign may include multiple actions including watching a video, submitting a form or click-to-call.)
The top advertisers on the network in categories such as auto, entertainment, finance and retail used social tools to further brand engagement as well as lead generation, according to Millennial. The company said its network now reaches nearly 72 million U.S. mobile Web users, or 80% of the total of 85 million.