Great Creative Drives Engagement in Mobile Ads

People are still confused about the value of mobile as an ad platform. Because consumers are now spending more time on mobile devices than on desktop PCs, it is intuitive to conclude that mobile is a great place to advertise, but most mobile ads aren’t working, and spend hasn’t grown the way it should. ROI doesn’t seem to be there, either. A recent backlash, led by Jean Louis Gassee, a respected American investor, was framed around the hypothesis that mobile might not be such a great opportunity after all.

But a convincing deck by Henry Blodgett spoke recently about the future of mobile as barely having begun. Blodgett and his collaborator point out that mobile advertising does, however, require different approaches, both in format and in creative. That seems to be what people are overlooking, You can’t just translate the desktop to the tablet or the phone, any more than you can translate print to digital — although people have wasted a lot of money trying.

First of  all,  we think the best opportunity for mobile advertising isn’t the phone. Because the phone screen is small, users feel that ads that take up too much screen real estate are intrusive, and brsides,the consumer is on the move. He can respond to a text ad, or perhaps to a location-based special offer, but the phone will evolve to be useful only for performance-based ads, not for brand lift.

On the other hand, tablet owners consume lots of content, usually in a relaxed fashion, and are more willing to tolerate ads in long-form content. Mobile ads on the tablet, especially if they are video or interactive can be very effective for building brand, especially if they are combined with social media campaigns and PR.

We have just seen an ad that we think exemplifies the best kind of creative for a tablet ad that will get results. Last week , the “creative community” (they don’t call themselves an agency) Johannes Leonardo, friends of ours in New York,  brought home the first ever Mobile Cannes Lion of Creativity award. The  winning creative, for Google and Coke, recreated the old theme of buying the world a Coke for the 21st century, allowing the viewer to access a map and choose someone in a foreign country for whom they’d like to buy a coke. The ad, on Google, was video with novel creative and high interactivity.

Why were these guys able to produce such a spectacular ad? Because Johannes Leonardo began as a creative shop with the founding belief that “the consumer is the new medium.” This is a great statement of how new mobile formats and creative must work together.

In the winning ad, the agency gave the consumer an actual task to perform.This mobile ad from Google, which re-imagines a classic Coke spot, is a digital reinterpretation of Coke’s iconic ‘Hilltop’ spot, featuring the song “I want to buy the world a Coke.”

It’s not a banner, and not a static display. Instead, the mobile ad enables viewers to actually buy a Coke for someone in a city of their choice. As he watches the mobile ad, which ran on Google’s Admob network,  a the viewer can pick a city to send the Coke to, attach a text message and press a button that dispenses a drink at  specially designed vending machines in the selected city. The viewer can even watch as his Coke is delivered. An ad like this produces high engagement.

The ad was created as part of Project Re:Brief in which Grow Interactive and agency Johannes Leonardo reimagined classic ads with a digital twistfor the modern day. While Google commissioned it, Coca-cola also signed off on the ad.

We share it with you because we believe this agency is one of the first to embrace the potential of advertising for mobile devices. We hope they will choose to try out some of ZEDO’s nine new mobile formats.

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The phone is a personal a device and users feel that the ads that take up a lot of the screen are too intrusive.

The phone is a personal a device and users feel that the ads that take up a lot of the screen are too intrusive.