Adopting a full-screen approach to mobile advertising addresses many (but not all) of the viewability issues facing the mobile advertising ecosystem.
For starters, full-screen ad placements as the name implies, take up the entire screen of a mobile device, so that removes the challenges around placement and scrolling – the ad will always be visible to consumers.
The banner as we know it, is fading away and being replaced by other ad formats, such as native and video as the new dominant ad units of the future. Agencies and brands get video as a format and many have successfully built up their brands on TV over the past decades – in other words, brands get how to make great videos that work and how to measure them. Native, although a relatively new format for mobile, has been around in print and other media for some time, again, brands get native advertising. So, full-screen ads at scale could be the lure that agencies and brands need, addressing three big issues – higher engagement, more ad space for messaging and creative and viewability.
As consumers, we’ve grown up and got used to watching endless hours of TV commercials that are full-screen and one hundred per cent viewable. Now we are extending that concept across to mobile and using a concept that advertisers and agencies can easily wrap their heads around.
What’s becoming evident via the current market shift towards more engaging, high-impact larger ad formats (such as full-screen ads), is that consumers are getting a much better user experience – and not the opposite as many may think. For advertisers, it gives them what they need in terms of higher impact, higher engagement and high-definition creatives, giving brands the option to move the dial with brand metrics. For developers, they’ll benefit from higher CPMs and ad quality – as brand spend opens up with larger ad formats.
One case in point is a Morrisons campaign with digital agency MEC and mobile video Demand-Side Platform LoopMe, that ran only full-screen ads followed up by a post campaign study that targeted users who saw the ad and didn’t see the ad. The key takeaway was the negative impact on perception that the campaign had had on competitors.
The digital advertising ecosystem is still debating viewability standards for online (yet alone mobile) and there’s general consensus that the Media Rating Council (MRC) and the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) standard do not go far enough, but nonetheless, a step in the right direction. The industry (agencies, ad tech and publishers) are getting behind and working towards updating existing models with a view to publishing a new paper in 2016.
For now, the industry remains focused on solving the challenges with viewability online first, but what’s clear is that mobile is emerging with less viewability problems than desktop. In what’s rapidly becoming a mobile-first society, dominated by applications, common issues on desktop like below-the-fold are removed by full-screen ads. Nonetheless, we need standards agreed for mobile advertising and fast.
That said, mobile advertising platforms that support payment and reporting by impressions served (and not ad requests) and full-screen ad formats (video, rich media and interstitial) go as far as possible in providing a solution now for advertisers that addresses the big elephant in the room – viewability.