The main technical challenge in rich media mobile advertising is ensuring the quality and reliability of the ad experience across different devices, operating systems, advertising networks and publishers. This is exactly the issue AdCreator addresses. In AdCreator, we provide the tools that let you focus on creativity, while we take on the burden of technical challenges. We achieve this by putting a layer of abstraction between you, our user, and your goal — a rich media mobile ad that “just works”.
Boston Innovation caught up with me earlier this week to find out about our FutureM panel with If Mobile is the Future, Why Aren’t Advertisers Investing More In It?
It was a busy week for Celtra at FutureM, and one of the highlights was our panel, “The Future of Mobile Rich Media and Location Targeting.” Celtra’s VP of Business Development Grant Stratemeyer presented at the panel, which also included executives from Mobext and The PayPal Media Network. Each speaker brought a unique perspective to the discussion, and I’ve outlined some of the bigger themes from the presentation below.
Why aren’t advertisers investing more in mobile?
According to analytics firm Flurry, people spend 23 percent of their time on their mobile devices, second only to TV at 40 percent. Though the medium accounts for only six percent of people’s leisure time, print gets 29 percent of ad spend.
Interestingly, mobile receives about one percent of ad budget spend, compared to TV at 43 percent. Why the big gap? Mobile has grown so rapidly, advertising hasn’t caught up with it yet. Although agencies and brands are increasing their mobile ad spend, they remain in learning mode, looking for the best ways to leverage mobile and create more valuable ads.
How do we remove the complexity for advertisers looking to target mobile consumers?
Advertisers look to achieve scale with ads that work seamlessly across various mobile devices and platforms without spending weeks custom-building elaborate rich media ad units. Advertisers prefer a platform-based approach: one that transforms assets into high-impact mobile and tablet creatives in a matter of hours, and which can run across their entire media buy. As industry standards evolve, this approach will help increase mobile ad buys by streamlining ad formats, delivery and measurement.
Location-based targeting will accelerate market growth as more advertisers take advantage of the locative technologies in many smartphones. A consumer journey might consist of watching a video, browsing an image gallery or playing a game and then using a store locator to find a nearby location and make a purchase. If people are using mobile devices to shop and engage with content in unprecedented ways, how can advertisers incorporate location data into their campaigns? “Geo-fenced” mobile ad campaigns are a good place to start, serving offers only within specified areas around certain stores or points of interest. Brands that want to take it a step further can use dynamically updated product inventory data, providing customers real-time information regarding in-store availability.
Mobile is the future
Mobile has come a long way. Just a year ago, mobile ad campaigns averaged 3-5 million impressions. This figure has more than tripled and ad campaigns now average 20-25 million impressions. Additionally, the amount of people involved with mobile media buying has expanded both on the ad network and publisher side of the business, providing more real estate in which advertisers can invest.
As consumers have increasingly turned to their favorite mobile devices for deeply engaging, rich experiences, advertisers have responded by creating rich media ads that are more meaningful and engaging. When designed well and targeted correctly, these rich ads drive significantly higher ad performance and create superior value ads for advertisers.
Celtra’s Jonathan Milne was recently featured in the IAB Tablet Buyers Guide. He identifies several key considerations when planning, designing, and executing tablet advertising campaigns.
Integrate your tablet strategy into the marketing mix
Tablets are highly complementary with other media so tablet strategies shouldn’t be developed in isolation but integrated with the rest of the media plan. For marketers this creates highly synergistic opportunities to program relevant or related messages on multiple platforms including tablets, print, online and TV. It’s essential to include the tablet component as early as possible in the planning process and coordinate it with the rest of the campaign.
Screen size matters
When planning your campaign, consider the differences between smartphones and tablets. Smartphones have smaller screens and ad formats sizes are smaller so creative is more effective when it is fast loading, easy to read and includes location-based information with clear calls to action. For tablets, screen real estate and ad format sizes are larger than phones allowing for longer, more advanced creative executions.
Consider multiple use cases
Tablet usage patterns are important to consider when planning a tablet strategy. Tablets are typically used in the evenings at home with a Wi-Fi connection when users are more relaxed and have more time to concentrate. Users are willing to spend more time on ads and as a result have come to expect higher quality creative executions. Because tablets are more often used in the home, location based features are less relevant that smartphone ads which are optimised for users who are “out and about.” More artistic, leisure based advertising works best.
Create ads specific to tablets and publishers
Tablets have been a game changer for premium publishers allowing them to deliver truly engaging experiences that can be monetized in new ways. Tablet experiences combine the dynamic and interactive capabilities of the web with the style and sophistication of print. Rather than repurposing online or TV ads, advertisers should create ads specific to tablets and the apps/sites in which they reside.
Take into account multiple screens
Simultaneous use of tablets while watching TV is on the rise. Ads that achieve ‘cross-screen viewership’, meaning they were seen on televisions and tablets make a deeper impression with consumers and can be effective. Cross platform campaigns give consumers an immediate call to action that’s not always available when advertising on TV alone.
Understand standard ad format sizes
One of the most important decisions is which tablet ad formats to use. Half, quarter and full-page ad formats are effective for driving brand awareness and fit well with magazine style apps or websites. If a media buy is across multiple publishers, using specific ad sizes that work across all of them can save development time and cost.
Full page ads: Many Publishers are selling full-screen ads. Full page ads should include two formats, one for landscape and one for portrait viewing. Full page ad formats can vary, with some publishers reserving space at the top or bottom of the screen for navigation or other purposes. Standard ad units. 1024×50, 768×50, 728×90, 300×250 have become fairly common banner sizes for tablets. Recommended expanded ad unit sizes include 768×916, 1024×660, and 768×660 as they are geared to the tablet screen size and allow for a great user experience.
Switching between portrait and landscape modes
It is important to note that tablets’ screen orientations change and can be used in either portrait or landscape mode and users change from one to the other at will. Ads that work in both modes typically garner the better results as many publishers are locking orientations.
Take into account the retina display
The iPad 3’s retina display transforms the iPad experience. Optimizing specific features of an ad such as logos, icons, buttons, and text creates a premium look that is appealing to consumers. Be mindful that only a select set of features should be optimised for the retina display so that you can be sure to keep your ad weight optimised.
Understand the effectiveness of rich media
Many advertisers and publishers have moved beyond the traditional static banner ad offering rich capabilities such as video, photo galleries, gamification and social media to enable immersive and engaging experiences. As your tablet campaign gets underway, consider how the ad‘s features will influence the user’s experience. For example, consider the touch driven environment and include features such as swiping, pinching, rotating and tilting to drive consumer interaction. Thinking about the user experience early in the process typically leads to creative with greater engagement and appeal.
Design the add to fit with the app or web experience
There are hundreds of thousands of tablet apps and the number of tablet-optimized web sites is growing fast. Whether a game, magazine, video, utility or social property, the app type will affect the types of ad units offered and the user’s willingness to interact with those ads. It’s important to consider the media plan when thinking about the creative and to consider the ad’s features when developing the media plan.
Balance interactivity to attract and not deter users
It’s important to find the right balance between being intrusive and being noticeable. Animated ads catch tablet user’s attention by making the ad more visible. Ads that have animation in the background are effective at catching the attention of a tablet user and are much more appealing to them than ads that blink.
Take advantage of rich media capabilities
Tablet users have come to expect rich media experience and proactively engage with them. The onus is on advertisers and their agencies to deliver meaningful rich experiences that are in context with the content around them,
- The ability to touch, shake and tilt device adds a new dimension of interaction that users love.
- Including photo galleries, video content and animation into creative executions, builds user awareness and engagement.
- Tablet videos can be longer and higher quality than those used for smartphones. Social media such as sharing on Facebook or Twitter extends the connection of the brand and the consumer beyond the life of the campaign.
- Tablet games can be more sophisticated as they encourage users to spend quality time with the brand; while playing users are focused and engaged.
- Integrating forms for data collection and click-to-call buttons directly in an ad unit drive users further down the purchase funnel
Optimise landing pages for tablets
Landing pages for tablet ads should be built in HTML and feature clear calls to action and eye-catching creative. Responsive design sites are growing in popularity. Rather than creating a separate site with different content, user interfaces and creative elements tailored for separate devices, a responsive website will adapt and scale the presentation layer to work best within the available screen real estate.
Consider the impact of offline vs. online usage of apps
For apps that require online connectivity to operate as well as tablet web ads, the full array of ad features, including dynamic content can be used. For ads that are served offline, cashing is recommended so your campaign can be delivered successfully and ensures capture of campaign analytics.
Take into account ad trafficking standards
The IAB ‘s MRAID standard has allowed media buyers to more easily deliver their campaigns across multiple platforms and devices with its SDK agnostic approach. MRAID 2 promises to deliver more sophisticated size changes in ads, allowing ads to grow to partial screen, and change size multiple times as users interact with the creative. It also standardizes how the ad creative gets information about screen size, device capabilities, and other details relevant to desired ad behavior. In addition it will allow clarification of video handling in the context of mobile rich media banner and interstitial ads
Today Mobile Marketer reported that Choice Hotels is running a sweepstakes as part of its premier sponsorship of the MLB PrePlay application.
MLB Advanced Media – the interactive media and Internet arm of the MLB – partnered with game studio PrePlay and Celtra on the initiative. The app is available for iOS devices and can be downloaded for free from Apple’s App Store
The Choice Hotels sponsorship of the MLB PrePlay app includes a mention of the brand on the homepage of the app as well as banner ads that run along the bottom of the app. The banner ad copy includes a call to action encouraging consumers to click for a chance to win tickets. When tapped, the ad brings up a landing page where users can enter their email address for a chance to win two tickets to the 2013 World Series. After entering their email address, users an also check boxes to opt-in to email newsletters from the MLB and Choice Hotels.
The sponsorship is simple, yet effective given the app’s content. Consumers browsing through the MLB app are most likely to be quickly searching for information on their favorite teams so a more elaborate ad campaign may not have been as impactful for the company.
Read more about The Choice Hotels mobile rich media campaign on Mobile Marketer
We are thrilled that Celtra has been named one of the most innovative tech companies of the year in the 2012 American Business Awards. The win marks the second industry recognition for innovation that Celtra has earned in the past two weeks showing that the demand for rich media advertisements on mobile devices is exploding.
Winners of this year’s American Business Awards, also known as the Stevie® awards, were selected by more than 270 executives nationwide who participated in the judging process. Celtra was hand-picked from a field of more than 3,000 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry – and was specifically recognized for its innovative approach to mobile advertising.
We’re incredibly proud of the Celtra team and as a company we’re honored to receive this award.
Mobile advertising is all about achieving the brand’s marketing goals, whatever they might be. You may want consumers to browse products, watch a video, go to your Facebook page or find a store so they can learn more about you. We’re often asked what really works for mobile rich media and which ad features perform the best. Celtra’s Quarterly Mobile Rich Media Monitor offers insight into the performance of various ad experiences and features and aims to serve as a guide for designing effective rich media mobile ads.
Highlights from Q2 Benchmarks
- Among ad formats, more than 2/3 (67 percent) were expandable banners, making it the most popular ad format. The remaining 1/3 of the ads were split between interstitials (21 percent) and animated banners (12 percent)
- Interestingly, there were more iOS (55 percent) ads than Android (45 percent) but Android adoption continues to rise and Celtra expects that these numbers will shift in the coming months.
- Engagement rates for mobile rich media ads average in the double-digits (12.8 percent) with video and gaming experiences being the most engaging.
- Gaming experiences are highly effective for entertainment with (16.6 percent) of users responding to a gaming element.
- Users are engaging with social media through mobile ads and sharing branded content. (8.7 percent) share on Facebook and (12.6 percent) Tweet. In addition, brands are increasingly integrating newer social media services such as Instagram, foursquare and Pinterest.
- Direct response features are present in most ads. A click to an external service, such as app store, or website is almost always included in an ad.
“Creativity has always been at the heart of great advertising — and designing the right experience with the right message for the right audience is a key to success,” said Matevz Klanjsek, co-founder and chief product officer at Celtra. ”Rich media mobile advertising is changing the way brands communicate with consumers by engaging them with meaningful, useful and often intimate experiences instead of simply bombarding them with commercial messages. From the start, Celtra’s AdCreator platform has made it easy for marketers to push the creative boundaries and craft beautiful and effective experiences while seamlessly reaching targeted audiences.”
The Future is Rich
As mobile advertising ecosystem is entering a mature phase, rich media ads are becoming much more sophisticated and elaborate. While including video is still the first and obvious choice for most brands, they are increasingly leveraging advanced mobile capabilities and ad features, such as location-based services, social media and gaming elements. When designed well and used in the right context, these features drive significantly higher ad performance and create much bigger value for advertisers than traditional static “click-to-site” mobile banners.
For more detailed data from the report on vertical specific performance, please visit the Celtra Q2 2012 Mobile Rich Media Monitor Infographic: www.celtra.com/infographic. You can also view examples of ads made with AdCreator in Celtra’s Ad Gallery: www.celtra.com/gallery.
We are excited to announce that Celtra won the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC) Award for Best Mobile Technology.
Hundreds of members from across the tech community turned out to network and to hear the names of the 2012 winners. MassTLC receive a record number of nominations this year with a new judging model that included 55 executives, investors, analysts, media and thought leaders.
For all these reasons and more, Celtra was honored to have its Rich Media Post for Facebook recognized. Rich Media Post allows brands to quickly and easily build rich media experiences and publish them on their Facebook Pages as Facebook posts. Brands using Celtra’s Rich Media Post for Facebook include Angry Birds, AT&T, Dunkin’ Donuts, Macy’s, Mars Chocolate North America and Paramount Pictures.
We are so pleased to accept this award on behalf of the always innovative Celtra Community!
This article was originally published in iMedia Connection.
Beauty might be in the eye of the beholder, but there are some pleasing traits that everyone can agree on. Confidence, personal pride, and style are just three of the characteristics we use to size-up and assess others. This holds especially true in the advertising industry. It’s common knowledge that a put-together marketer is more likely to get the job, win the pitch, and rise in the ranks than someone who expends less effort in cultivating and maintaining their personal brand.
We all know that great branding is about the whole package. With that in mind, iMedia set out to find examples of 10 marketers who demonstrate a winning attitude in both their professional accomplishments and personal style. Just like last year, we determined that intelligence, open mindedness, and perseverance are the qualities that make for a truly “hot” marketer — that is, someone who embodies the traits of success both inside and out.
So turn on the fan, pour the lemonade, and do whatever you can to keep your cool — because 2012′s list is definitely turning up the heat.
Mihael Mikek, CEO and Co-Founder, Celtra
When he isn’t windsurfing, skiing, or traveling with his beautiful family, Mihael Mikek starts and grows multi-million-dollar businesses. After founding several businesses in the medical and chemical service fields, Mikek transitioned to the digital sphere by creating Celtra, a mobile rich media display advertising platform.
Mikek developed the concept for Celtra in 2006 while studying at Babson’s MBA Business Hatchery. In just a few short years, Mikek put his idea into action and raised more than $7 million of private venture capital. Mikek’s quick response to the market evolution was instrumental for Celtra’s success. Today, Celtra provides services for major clients such as 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros, New Line Cinema, Paramount Pictures, and other clients from the entertainment industry.
Under Mikek’s guidance, Celtra has been nominated for several industry awards including an American Business Award, MassTLC award, and AlwaysOn Top 100 Mobile.
Matevz Klanjsek, co-founder and chief product officer at Celtra, discusses how mobile rich media can drive meaningful engagement, increase sales, and boost loyalty with iMediaConnection.
You want to sell your product so you buy a lot of media, you run TV ads, billboards, print ads; you endlessly repeat your message and your brand promise, and people buy it. Sounds like the 20th century? It is, but it works. It’s been tested a million times, it’s reliable, and it’s quite effective. On the flip side, it alienates your consumers, it detaches them from the brand, and it’s becoming less and less effective. Before they buy, consumers increasingly want to interact with the brand, co-create it, play with it, get intimate with it, and touch it — physically touch it. With rich media mobile advertising, they can.
A lot has been said and done about the engagement in advertising, but rich media mobile advertising is taking it to the next level. Intimacy and real emotional involvement are the keys to quality engagement that can really help you achieve your marketing goals, build a stronger brand, drive sales, and increase loyalty. Browsing through products or shops with your fingers, finding the right store just around the corner, getting a coupon and keeping it on your phone so you never lose it, experiencing a virtual test drive, and booking a real one right away can all help you achieve these goals.
Static banners that click through to a landing page or service can be effective, but consumers have become hooked on the rich capabilities of their most favorite devices. Rich mobile advertisements allow brands to fully leverage these capabilities through location sensitivity to deliver more relevant messages. Tangibility makes the experience more fun, interesting, and memorable. Integration with various social media services can enable users to share a brand message and become true brand ambassadors.
The reasons to jump on the mobile advertising bandwagon are endless. The difficult part is figuring out how to best go about it. It’s easy to go a mile wide and an inch deep with regard to mobile marketing — there’s a million and one mobile ad functions you can deploy. The real mobile marketing ROI comes when you learn to go a mile deep in a few smart, targeted ways. How can you drive meaningful engagement, increase sales, and boost loyalty with mobile advertising? Here’s four effective ways mobile rich media can help.
Grab the user’s attention
As with any other successful and effective ad, it all starts with captivating the user’s attention. A meaningful call to action is essential, and you’ll want to test different options to find the best performing message. Great copy can drive up to 20 percent higher click-through-rates. By incorporating rich features like video content and image galleries directly into creative ad units, brands give users more options for response.
Attractive and high-quality photos work well for product presentations. There’s a trade-off between the loading time and the quality of the images, so be selective — but know that better images typically produce better results. Starting your ad with a video draws users in. The most effective videos are compact and serve as a teaser to prompt the user to continue the engagement rather than watching and leaving the ad. Keep in mind that TV commercials aren’t recommended as users have already seen them. In the right context such as a music-related publisher, audio can be very relevant and effective.
Present your products through engagement
Beautiful product shots can be presented in a variety of ways to make the product part of a rich and fun experience, keep the audience engaged for longer, and, most importantly, get them to make a purchase. Integrating games into your ads gets users emotionally involved and allows you to present all of the products you are promoting. Users get addicted to the game and often want to play it again.
Completion rates for games are consistently high — 80-90 percent — and after playing, users are more than twice as likely to find a nearby store or start shopping. Integrating your products as elements within the game and pausing each time the product appears for an explanation is highly effective; users are three times more likely to see all the products than they are when viewing a standard product gallery. Gamification is another great way to get users through the ad experience, especially when you want to collect data or get them to subscribe.
Integrate social media
Integrating social media elements into your mobile ads has a positive novelty factor effect and makes your brand cool, fresh, and up-to-date. It also extends your reach and helps with acquisition. If your brand has a Facebook page or Twitter profile, don’t forget to include buttons to take your users there. It’s an easy first step toward bringing social media into your ads, and it’s also quite effective — typically 3-10 percent of users will tap on each.
Newer social media services like Instagram and Pinterest excite users and increase their willingness to engage. We’ve seen 15 percent of users want to follow a brand on Instagram. To be truly social, it’s important to get your users to do more than just follow or like you — get them to share your product on Facebook or post it to Twitter. Even better, encourage them to be creative. For example, you could have users create a poster for your brand within the ad. They will love doing it, and we’ve seen more than 20 percent post it to Facebook.
Make your ads location aware
However global, all business is local business. To drive purchases, leverage the user’s location to direct them to the nearest store and offer products that are relevant for where they live or work. A store locator is a simple and effective way to get users to start shopping. When communicated clearly, more than 10 percent of users will search for the local store within the ad. For ticket sales, location awareness can be even more effective — up to 15 percent of users will look for tickets for their local theater, music show, or sports event.
The IAB UK released a research study today that examined consumer attitudes toward tablet advertising. The 1000 respondent study was conducted by research agency Ipsos MediaCT, using Celtra’s rich media mobile advertising platform, AdCreator, in partnership with automotive brand, Renault and their agency Publicis.
The study shows that 55% of tablet owners believe tablet advertising can do things above and beyond other media and they expect this unique functionality of tablets to be incorporated into ads. However, the tablet advertising experience has not lived up expectations for 30% of study participants who had a negative opinion of tablets ads they’ve seen in the past.
Study participants who were exposed to tablet advertising that had an element of interactivity (such as video or gaming) responded to the advertising more positively than those who were exposed to a static ad. When comparing the static and interactive ads, more than three times as many respondents though the interactive ads were innovative. They were also considered to be more engaging and memorable by around twice as many respondents.
This is consistent to what we’ve seen at Celtra. The combined benefits of the big screen and Wi-Fi usage create an optimal environment for more advanced rich media creative executions. Tablet users gravitate to photo galleries, video, social media, gamification and so on. Plus there are features unique to the mobile experience, like location or the touch screen that users find highly appealing.
Celtra’s European General Manager Jonathan Milne said “More engaging, more innovative and more memorable — this study proves what we have seen reflected across our clients’ campaigns for some time: consumers expect rich media experiences on tablets and proactively engage with them. Animated gifs and static jpeg experiences simply don’t cut it with tablet owners; they are the wrong format for the medium and brands that associate themselves with this are being perceived negatively. The onus is on advertisers and their agencies to deliver rich experiences on tablets that satisfy this consumer expectation for interactivity but this must be done sensitively so the ads appear in context of the content around them.”
The IAB study found that interactive formats on tablets were at times found to be as intrusive as static, so advertisers must still be sensitive to where and when the advertising appears. Context is as important as it has ever been, with 95% of participants saying that it is important that it is unobtrusive and doesn’t interfere with what they are doing, and 82% said that the advert should be adapted to the content around it.
IAB’s Senior Mobile Manger, Alex Kozloff said: “There is a clear expectation from consumers for tablet advertising to match the high quality of the overall tablet experience. It is still early days for tablet advertising, but consumer expectations are already raised. However it is fantastic to see that the interactive rich media formats available today seem to be hitting the spot amongst respondents across a number of measures.”