espn brings a different kind of air to nba finals…

To promote its live stream of the recent NBA Finals, ESPN pulled an interesting stunt in Manhattan – Airdropping images with text connecting what people were doing with watching the finals.

Why It’s Hot

I’m not sure it is either real, or hot, but what’s seemingly interesting and clever is the fact that they utilized an overlooked iOS feature and used it to personalized their message on a one-to-one basis.


Immersive Mobile Ads on Facebook

“The ads take advantage of recent calls for vertical video and image capability. When users click on an ad on Facebook on their smartphone, they are taken to an immersive slideshow of images.”-  Carianne King

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Why It’s Hot

The concept and idea for the ad was built out of the conversations held at the Cannes Lions Festival this year. I love how this ad is extremely interactive and will keep users more engaged for longer on mobile. Considering that social users are preferring mobile to desktop, this ad will be a great area for many brands to explore!

Ad-Blocking Apps Top Apple App Store Chart

Peace, a $2.99 ad-blocking app created by former Tumblr engineer Marco Arment, currently sits at first place in the iOS paid apps, bumping Microsoft’s Minecraft, according to Recode.

Since Thursday morning, Peace remains at the top of the chart, but other apps have moved up. Purify is in the No. 3 slot and in fourth is Crystal. Further down the ranking, Blockr is in the No. 13 slot.

Apple's App Store chart as of Thursday afternoon

Only time will tell if ad blocking on mobile will truly get any traction beyond initial interest or curiosity. As Recode points out, “ITunes ranks apps by total sales and speed of downloads, giving stronger weights to suddenly popular ones”, making the new shinny object, shine even more.

Ad Age recently tested some of these ad-blocker apps and, aside from sponsored posts on apps like Facebook and Twitter, the ad blocking was effective.

While technology allows brands to serve more relevant ads to their audiences, it also gives marketers a chance to disrupt people’s lives at any given second. The big question is: How do we use data to be as effective as possible, without going too far and provoke the opposite reaction on our audiences?

Source: AdAge


Why this is hot

Wait, is this hot?

Facebook’s Panoramic View Mobile Ads Announced

In a presentation at Cannes Lions this week, Facebook’s chief product officer Chris Cox showed ad buyers mock-ups of a new mobile format that takes over a screen after a user clicks on it from the news feed. Once a promo is expanded, it turns into a browsable mini-website. (Re/code published a video of what a Michael Kors ad reportedly looks like.)  Users can see a panoramic view of products and really check it out in full detail.

The rich media ad will seamlessly blend into users’ news feeds, just like an advertising version of Instant Articles where Facebook hosts content for nine major publishers such as BuzzFeed.  This means that advertisers need to create content specifically for the social platform. The news comes right before Facebook’s initial crop of Instant Articles publishers, including The New York Times and Buzzfeed, start cranking out articles for the platform, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

“An ad format like this has the potential to become much more of a shopping experience,” she said. “It offers a wealth of product detail but does so in a way that’s user-driven and about exploration rather than pushing out features.”

Why It’s Hot

If you look at mobile-awareness units available to advertisers today, for the most part, they’re either highly interruptive to the user or they are a piece of content users can simply scroll past.  This takes cool rich media-style units, which have not really been put to use on mobile, and give users a truly engaging experience.  I’d expect that retail brands could really run with this to sell their products in a “sexier” way.  The only think that would be a pain about this, is as usual, FB creates an ad that has to be custom to the site, not standard IAB regulated.


What Makes Ads Unskippable?

Think With Google posted an article this week that discusses what makes an ad unskippable and how that translates across different devices. Specifically, Google’s “Unskippable Labs” initiative seeks to find out:

“What resonates with people in mobile video advertising? And how is that different from what resonates on TV?”

To find the answers to these questions, they leveraged YouTube TrueView and partnered with Mountain Dew, BBDO NY and OMD Worldwide to understand what mobile video advertising people are most likely to watch and how their views impact brand metrics. They used Mountain Dew’s Kickstart “Come Alive” spot- a popular ad on TV and TrueView that had been running for 2 months and earned nearly 9 million total views on YouTube – and made two new versions of it to see how it performed across different devices.

You can find the original ad below. This ad features the classic story arc with a clear beginning, middle and end. Ideal for TV platforms and YouTube accounts where viewers are searching for video content.

The second version below, titled “Big Punch.” As you can guess, this ad is optimized for current trends in mobile- putting the brand in the beginning before the viewers can skip the ad. The story line isn’t as clear in this ad but still has some action and works towards the goal of driving brand awareness.

The third ad, below, is titled “Pure Fun” and completely flips the script on what we’d think a success ad (especially on mobile) is. It’s much longer than the others (1:33) is a bit confusing at first, has no perceptible story and the brand is featured much less explicitly than in the first two ads.



When looking at the view-through rate metrics on desktop, there was no clear winner. However, when looking at the VTR’s on mobile, the third ad “Pure Fun” was viewed at a 26% higher rate than the other ads. How did this happen when the ad was three times longer than the others? Think With Google speculates that people were intrigued by the mystery of what they saw with the last ads so they were more interested in watching through the whole ad- compared to the others which may have been more predictable. That makes sense.

The other piece of this puzzle is branding. The third spot was significantly lower than the others (54%) driving brand lift on mobile. However, brand awareness for all three cuts on mobile was equal. This shows that despite the second ad “Big Punch” having the logo right in the beginning of the ad, it did no better the other two spots in lifting brand awareness.

Why it’s Hot:

So what’s the point of all this?

The big takeaway here is that nothing is set in stone with mobile. While the current trends of keeping it short and making sure the branding is in the first 5 seconds make sense- there is still room for experimentation and innovation. As the article put it :

While there wasn’t one clear winner across all the metrics we looked at, we did find that mobile may offer a fresh canvas, inviting creatives to ditch ad norms and have a little more fun.”

For the full analysis, check out the article here.

Marketers, Creative Ad Execs Adjust to Video Ads With No Sound

It’s never been easy for advertisers to get people to pay attention to them. It’s even harder when millions of people literally can’t hear their commercials. But in a world where Americans are consuming more and more Web video on mobile phones, or in Web environments where video ads play without sound – particularly on Facebook – brands and top creative executives are having to adjust quickly to the new reality of video ads. Executives at top digital media companies like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are all consulting brands on how best to advertise using Web video without sound. The ad must capture interest in the first three seconds, as you have a person scrolling over the newsfeed and have to get his attention quickly.

Why It’s Hot

Ben and Jerry’s ice melt

Creative strategies are different than the ones used to create 30-second TV commercials, which are shot assuming most viewers are watching a full-screen experience with the sound turned up. But this type of ad offers unlimited creative possibilities. Ben & Jerry’s has been producing video ads that aim to communicate just as well without sound, as well as a video featuring a pint of ice cream trapped in a slowly melting block of ice. One new rule of thumb Heineken has learned: if you have a celebrity, show them right away. That’s something the beer brand has used to great effect with stars like Neil Patrick Harris and Patrick Stewart – faces that are easily recognizable in news feeds. As advertisers spend billions on mobile video ad spending in the next few years, creative teams will need to rethink the way they produce this new format, bringing new creative challenges and exciting possibilities.
Source: WSJ

Planning Mobile Campaigns – Do Geos Matter

According to mobile agency and creative shop Fetch, when planning your mobile campaign, traditional geographic regions are not the most efficient way forward. Here is a map of traditional regions for the purpose of most planning done:


Countries from the same region show disparate levels of responsiveness to ads

 The graph below shows each individual country plotted by CPI (cost per install) and CTI (click to install). From this you can observe different clusters of countries with similar responsiveness to mobile advertising. Each country is colored according to its traditional region, so again we can see vast differences in behavior within these groupings. You can click on the picture to expand.

In the top right are countries that are expensive to reach but also responsive to the advertising they see.

The top left is countries that are also expensive to reach, but are also hard to engage. The Nordic countries and developed APAC nations like Korea and Japan reside here, and this is a grouping that reoccurs frequently across different data.

The bottom right section has countries that are relatively cheap to both acquire and easy to engage with.

Last, the bottom left is made up of less developed mobile markets, cheap to acquire but not very engaged with mobile advertising.

High-cost users to acquire live in countries with high smartphone penetration

The two graphs below show the relationships between CPI, Mobile Uptake and GDP
per capita of each country. Click to enlarge.

This further establishes that countries where users are expensive to acquire have high smartphone penetration and likely have more expendable income. These users are valuable so advertisers bid more aggressively for them.

Similar clusters can be seen in this graph, such as the Nordic countries and high tech APAC markets; their smartphone users are comfortable spending on mobile and are expensive to acquire.

Why It’s Hot:

First, it is worth considering if we need to follow traditional region groupings when planning and budgeting. Our customers are mobile and we should be, too. Second, there is a wealth of knowledge that can be shared between countries. They may sit in different regions, but what you have learned in Japan is likely to be very useful to inform campaigns in Sweden. Your optimization strategy in Canada may work very well in Brazil but not necessarily in Russia.


Apple Will Allow Users To Block Ads on iPad and iPhone

Apple has announced support for Ad Blocking Extensions for its Safari Web browser on iOS 9. All developers of such ad block extensions have to do is to hand over a JSON File with the requisite instructions for blocking ads, pop-up ads and more, and Safari converts it into bytecode, blocking ads without letting publishers know. This is likely in favor of handing over more control to users and avoid longer page load times on mobile devices like iPad and iPhone.

Here’s how the iOS9 developer documents describe the new feature:

The new Safari release brings Content Blocking Safari Extensions to iOS. Content Blocking gives your extensions a fast and efficient way to block cookies, images, resources, pop-ups, and other content.



(source: thenextweb)

Why It’s Hot:

What was once only available as a desktop feature will now move to mobile devices and will certainly be unwelcomed by media publishers. As audiences continue to shift online and away from print, publishers must squeeze as much as they can out of their growing mobile traffic. A report from 2014 found that ad-block software usage was up 70% year over year, with over 140 million people blocking ads worldwide, including 41% of 18-29 year olds. You can see why this is worrisome for publishers who sell these ads.

Instagram Up its Value to Marketers

Instagram is going to begin including function buttons in their paid ad posts. In the caption of the brand image, there will be a “buy now” button for online retailers, an “Install now” button for mobile apps and a “Sign up” button for membership apps. The buttons will open in an in-app browser to keep the user in Instagram at all times, making it a more seamless process.

These new interactive ads will incorporate Facebook data, which should allow more small businesses to begin advertising on Instagram, since they will be able to purchase smaller ad buys that target a narrower group of people.

In addition to CTA buttons, Instagram has also added enhanced paid advertising targeting capabilities that very closely mirror those of Facebook. These enhanced capabilities allow advertisers to target their ads based on user interests in addition to age, gender and location.

The buttons will roll out gradually, beginning with testing in Spain this week.


Why It’s Hot

This seems like a natural progression for Instagram, as they have a large and engaged fan base as well as an immense amount of data through their own app and Facebook. For users, this means a more seamless experience. For advertisers it means the ablity to tackle the right users

Read more here.

New: Facebook “Instant Articles”

Facebook came one step closer on Wednesday to changing the way we read the news. The new “Instant Articles” initiative launched this week lets publishers post stories and video directly to News Feed — further defeating the need for real “homepage” experiences. The articles will exist within Facebook’s walls, similar to an uploaded status. Instant Articles will let shared stories load more than 10 times faster than standard mobile web articles and will include content from 9 select publishers such as the New York Times, BuzzFeed and National Geographic, using what the platform says are its interactive tools that will bring stories “to life in new ways.”

Readers of the “Instant Articles” can zoom in and tilt photos. And video will play automatically as readers scroll. Publishers will also have access to Facebook software for interactive maps and audio captions, while allowing for trackable data and traffic through comScore and other analytics tools.


Why it’s hot:

The move underscores an imminent change in the present situation, in which Facebook users have to wait for a link posted on the publishers’ original site and shared on Facebook. The change, Facebook claims, will make article access ten-fold faster for Facebook users.

Facebook is the most dominant social media referral engine, boosting publishers’ traffic to individual stories while lessening the importance of their own branded front pages. (A survey by the Pew Research Center found that 30% of people in the U.S. already get their news primarily from Facebook.) The new agreement represents the publishers’ willingness to further deepen their ties in pursuit of more revenue worldwide.


New Mobile Ads Recommend Videos Based on the News You’re Reading

There is no denying the proliferation (and necessity) of brands advertising on mobile. With an increase in mobile device usage and growing capabilities, more and more brands are meeting consumers where they’re at – mobile devices. However, due to screen size and other varying factors, getting consumers to actually engage with an ad and consider purchasing a product via mobile can be very challenging. In addition, many advertisers feel there are not many innovative options when it comes to delivering ads via mobile.

Well there is a new option in town, dubbed Kapsule, from the ad company Kargo. Basically as consumers scroll through articles on popular websites, a sponsored video player slides out of the right side of the page to recommend related content. If the user does not touch the ad it slides away after a few seconds. If they do interact with it, the ad expands the video to full screen. To make this happen, the tool first searches the article for keywords and then pulls a video about the same topic from the publisher’s database. This is a familiar concept as many publishers currently do this on desktop sites to increase traffic.

Target is the first brand to test this new type of ad. It is using the format to promote Easter products such as candy and cake decorations.

Why It’s Hot 

The concept is simple yet seems to have potential to be effective in the mobile space. As advertisers, we know that targeted and relevant marketing are keys to success and Kargo is enabling brands to do this on mobile without having to dramatically reinvent the wheel.

Read more here and here.