Will Activity-Based Mobile Ads Take Off?

Mobile advertising has its challenges due to fragmentation and screen size. One recent bright spot, however, is the advent of so-called activity-based ad units, which reach people as they perform activities. A user who has completed a level in a game, for example, might see an ad that offers a brand reward.

Digiday asked top agency executives for their take on activity-based mobile ads.

Emily Dunsmore, associate director at Starcom Media Vest Group
We see activity-based ad impressions as a way to reach consumers when they are in a more engaged mindset and this makes them more likely to respond to the call-to-action. By reaching them in that moment, we’ve found that the click-through rates are stronger. So traditionally, an advertiser would serve an ad based on the content someone is reading, while activity-based advertising would be someone in Farmville going to ask their neighbor for something and getting served a video ad and rewarded with coins to buy that something. The thinking is that you are catching the consumer while they are leaning forward and in the mindset to interact.

Ryan Griffin vp and group director of media and mobile at Digitas
Reaching people in moments that matter: achievement, post-activity, or in natural pauses, helps your brand break through and deliver value. Mobile, which is all about momentary engagement for a consumer, relies on native manners and those non-interruptive, natural and organic moments are those brands need to activate. Early results show universally substantial lifts [with activity-based ads] across all major branding metrics ranging from massive gains in top-of-mind awareness, to significant increases in purchase intent.

Michael Winter, managing director of digital strategy at PHD Media
The idea of the natural break has been around for awhile online – we used to look at activities primarily like after someone read an email as an opportunity to seize on that moment of choice. As more and more activities have emerged through social, sharing and gaming the opportunity to deliver an engaging experience has exploded. Mobile advertising has been a promise for years and for good reason — highly connective, always on, and getting smarter and smarter. But for the most part the option to brands has been limited. The brands that we have run [activity-based ads for] have seen higher response and engagement rates, which we would expect but serves as a further proof point that an engaging experience in the right context at the right time will be seen by users as value not distraction.

Main image courtesy of Shutterstock

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