The Tappx Guide to Current and Emergent Mobile Ad Formats

The following is a guest contributed post from Rafael Andrade, Advertiser Business Developer, at Tappx

The way in which people interact and engage with ads is constantly evolving. It’s no secret that the present and future of brands is to leverage messaging across our vast mobile ecosystems of smart devices, and in particular, to utilize programmatic technology to communicate with users. Brands are constantly looking for new ways to excite and engage audiences. It’s not only important to solely focus on the channels which are used to impact users, but we also need to explore different methods where we can build within each channel, thereby maximising impact.

With the ongoing quest for new mobile ad formats, marketers are willing to go beyond the existing ones. There’s a constant need for new formats which take full advantage of new technologies and software. We’re constantly looking for new formats which offer deeper engagement, improved revenue streams, whilst being hyper-targeted for consumer interests. Smart devices are tightly woven into the fabric of our everyday lives. They’re a function for our lifestyles, hence an importance for the design, format, relevance and placement of ads served across our multitude of mobile screens. Out of all of these areas, the mobile ad format is going through a transformational period, with innovative developments right on the horizon.

Across the spectrum of current mobile ad formats, we must first discuss the present day king of the ad formats, the video ad. In the US alone, digital video expenditure is expected to increase at double digit annual rates until 2021, reaching a staggering $22 billion USD (Source eMarketer 2018).

Special mention must also be given to the rewarded video ad format, which is a hugely successful format used. Based on our extensive work in the mobile gaming world, rewarded video ads are highly requested from our ad partners across the Tappx network. Rewarded ads deliver a clear value exchange – when users view an in-game video ad, they are the rewarded with in-game assets, such as weapons, new lives and in-game currency, or new game level access. Video ad formats are hugely powerful on many levels, primarily because they help to communicate large amounts of information in a very short space of time.

Following video ads, we move onto 360 interactive ads. This format enables users to view products from multiple angles, including the rotation or flipping of an image, so users can gain different perspectives of products. New research from IPG Media Lab reported that video ads offering 360 degree functionality drive 7% higher purchase intent on smart devices, and a 12% increase in the belief that a brand has a “unique story to tell” when compared to video ads.

The next generation of mobile ad formats is the move towards true AR and VR. This year we will witness the real power behind AR/VR, in terms of the scope of technology, and embracement by audiences, empowering marketers to accompany their campaigns with increased interactivity, deeper immersiveness and hyper targeted personalization.

As gaming is a highly popular activity on smartphones, we shouldn’t forget about playable ads, and the near infinite forms which they can take. Playable ads offers users the chance to interact and engage with an app/game, before they have downloaded it. Try before you buy if you will. They offer attractive engagement and conversation rates.

The arrival of 5G is also going to take visual ad experiences to a higher level, and it will consequently create new spaces and metrics for measuring effectiveness, engagement and performance, such as tracking with metrics like post-view conversions, viewability and audibility ratios, and many more.

One of the most exciting yet “good old” ad formats that has witnessed a resurgence is the audio ad format. This increasing interest in audio formats is correlated to the large adoption by consumers of music streaming services. These types of audio ads, that can be served programmatically, opens new ways for segmenting audiences, like emotional segmentations according to the state of mind when people listen to certain genres of music. But there’s also a wider horizon for audio ads. In the future, they will increase their protagonism at the same time as the adoption of audio smart voice assistants such as Siri, Alexa, Cortana continues to grow. There’s no doubt that voice technology will change the way that consumers engage with brands, and how the brands present themselves to consumers.

The future of the advertising industry is like the past, which means it’s in constant evolution and with the unfinished pursuit for the attention of people. What excites users in this industry is how technology is relentlessly merging and transforming across all aspects of human life, which opens up new channels and ways to communicate with audiences.