Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Smaller-Screen Creative: Why Smartphones & Tablets Aren't Created Equal

The super-speed growth in smartphone usage and the cultural shift therein is old news at this point, but this past holiday season marked an enormous turning point in mobile technology adoption. U.S. tablet ownership doubled over the holiday seasonwhich means about 10 percent of the population was gifted a tablet. This milestone, while exciting, reveals a major missed opportunity in mobile advertising.

The Mobile Invasion

To say mobile snuck up on us is an understatement and companies large and small, as well as agencies, are scrambling to catch up to both the market and user expectation. For this reason, mobile advertising has been approached the same way online campaigns are planned, which leaves a lot to be desired in user experience leading to lack of engagement and ultimately poor ROI.
Tablet and mobile user expectations differ greatly. While both are still “mobile”, their size, design, and functionality have carved out very specific user behaviors.
Great Expectations
Instead of competing, these devices complement each other and so too can the advertising displayed. Tablet users enjoy a more relaxed browsing experience than smartphone users which makes digital magazines and streaming video extremely popular on the larger-screen devices.
A study by Bonnier revealed that tablet users appreciate ads that are not only relevant, but beautiful, as they display more seamlessly with the higher resolution activities enjoyed on tablets. Those participating in the study positively described well-created advertising as “fashionable”, “artistic”, and “informative”.
When utilizing a smartphone to browse, there is typically a much more urgent need for relevant information and ads as users are typically online to fulfill an immediate need. In fact, recent research from Bing shows that 70 percent of mobile users transact within an hour of a mobile search being conducted. But that doesn’t mean advertisements are any less important in the space.
Get Creative
Tablet and smartphone advertising creates a whole new area for designers to get creative. Instead of limiting the creative experiences to the size of the “box” where they’ll be displayed, rich media campaigns allow for a more engaging experience.
Though smartphones are the smaller of the two mediums, there is more than enough ad space and user attention to warrant more than the typical static offering. Experiences making their way to the smaller screen include:
  • Full-sized graphic display.
  • Expandable creative with multiple engagement levels.
  • Pre-click animation.
  • Video clips.
Creative should be chosen specifically for the audience and the app or browser placement, allowing for quick customization for each publisher – an important capability in optimizing any mobile campaign for ROI. But even the greatest creative should stay true to the users’ expectations.
Ads should provide local relevance and direct calls to action. Click to call, map and driving directions, coupons or social feedback functionality are all quick and direct actions that mobile creative can drive.

1 comment:

Ian Page said...

It's really interesting how tablet and smartphone users react differently to ads. There should be more research on this.