Novelty Wears Thin For Mobile Ads, Creativity Crucial

Smartphone Research in recent years has shown that performance rates for mobile advertising are often higher than for online advertising. Millward Brown unit Dynamic Logic, for instance, has found mobile campaigns increase ad awareness 22.5% and purchase intent 5.7% compared to 4.3% and 1.3% for online campaigns. The novelty of mobile ads has often been cited as one of the main factors contributing to their relative advantage over traditional Web ads.

But a new report from Dynamic Logic warns that as mobile matures, the novelty is wearing off, making creativity more crucial than ever in the emerging medium. "Today, poor creative can even have a negative impact on a brand, compared to the past three years when creative quality did not matter as much within mobile display advertising," said Ali Rana, senior vice president and head of Dynamic Logic's Emerging Media Lab.

What are the biggest mistakes advertisers are making in mobile? The study highlighted three:

*Repurposing online creative by cropping it for a mobile environment

*Showing one's brand only through a product shot

*Cluttering ads with too much text or too many logos

Based on its findings showing the importance of strong mobile creative, Dynamic Logic said it is developing a new copy-testing system specifically for mobile display advertising. The new testing solution to be released later this year promises to help agencies and advertisers optimize mobile creative to make the most of their ad buys.

The firm's latest research also identified three key elements that drive a successful mobile campaign:

*Left-side brand placement is generally most effective and has a strong impact on advertising recall

*Clear and persistent branding is important for brand awareness

*A strong call-to-action encourages interactivity and engagement to help drive purchase intent

In addition to novelty, Dynamic Logic said mobile ads have also benefited from the larger proportion of the screen devoted to advertising compared to online. Furthermore, the copy and content are typically more focused due to size and technology constraints. And as consumers become more accepting of mobile ads, the medium offers better targeting than most media.

The report also suggested mobile works well at communicating messages for "high-involvement" categories, like financial services. Even so, some of the best campaigns have come in low-involvement categories such as CPG, where ads are more effective in moving persuasion metrics, like favorability and purchase intent.

The question is whether marketers are willing to spend more to develop specialized ad creative for mobile. At the Mobile Media Summit in New York Wednesday, Eric Bader, president and chief strategy officer at Initiative, pointed out that mobile accounted for just 0.3% of ad spending in 2010.

He suggested that taking dollars from what he called "underperforming channels" such as direct mail, e-mail and search could increase mobile budgets.

At the same time, Bader advised that mobile should be used to extend exposure from traditional media including TV, radio, print and out-of-home advertising. "The success of mobile will start when we stop segregating it as a separate medium," he said.

2 comments about "Novelty Wears Thin For Mobile Ads, Creativity Crucial".
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  1. Ernest Ramos from JMango, October 7, 2011 at 5:24 a.m.

    Creativity is definitely the key here. Simply rolling-out basic ads won't be good for mobile marketers as a whole. All it does is desensitize your users to your ads. Mobile offers a unique opportunity in interactivity and fine targeting, don't waste it.

  2. Tom Cunniff from Combe Incorporated, October 11, 2011 at 9:16 a.m.

    Our industry loves to say "creativity is crucial". But so far in digital the majority of marketers will not invest in it and their KPIs do not require it.

    Our spreadsheets reveal the truths that we refuse to admit.

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