Commentary

Will The 'Scroller' Redefine Mobile Ads?

Scrolling has become second nature for most consumers. If we’re on our phones -- and we’re on our phones a lot -- chances are we’re scrolling through social media, news, photos, or some such content.

It’s no surprise, then, that the IAB is so excited about the “scroller," a new mobile ad format that was conceived with this ubiquitous behavior in mind.

Consistent with its LEAN principles -- Light, Encrypted, Ad-choice supported, and Non-invasive -- the IAB enlisted Celtra and PadSquad to come up with a unit that runs inline within content feeds, and scrolls smoothly on and off users’ screens to minimize intrusiveness.

In partnership with Edgewell Personal Care, the IAB then tested four Schick Hydro ads -- a scroller and an expandable banner for both the men’s and women’s razors.

Although not yet a standard IAB unit, the results showed that the scroller seems destined to become one.

Relative to the expandable banner ads, the scrollers boosted aided category awareness by almost 26%, and increased ad awareness by almost 10%, according to analysis conducted by Millward Brown Digital.

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People who saw the units were 17% more likely to perceive the ad as “distinctive” (67% versus 50%), and 13% more likely to say they enjoyed the ad.

What’s more, 35% of the people who saw the scroller expressed positive feelings about how the ad revealed itself -- relative to the 16% who said the same for the standard expandable.

Meanwhile, 44% of millennials expressed positive feelings about the units -- compared to 31% of those over 35 years old.

Additionally, while women saw the larger brand increases, men were more impressed with the scroller’s look and feel.

Men were also more likely than women to respond positively to the way the ad revealed itself (44% versus 26%) -- though both men and women liked it better than an expandable banner.

Finally, comparing Schick users to non-users, the non-Schick users drove large increases when considering creative metrics, although this was partially because Schick users had higher baselines across the board, which made it more difficult for the scroller to move the needle on results.

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