LSA15: The Art of Mobile Ad Creative

While industry discussion is focused on audience targeting and attribution, ad creative is often the neglected variable driving consumer response. To provide a look into the latest in innovative mobile ad creative, Greg Crockart of Candyspace Media and David Kaplan of GeoMarketing looked at the intersection of “art” and “science” as it relates to mobile ads.

Greg talked about the way mobile allows advertisers to bring the mobile and physical worlds together in specific locations. He showed some examples of mobile campaigns where consumers could interact with out-of-home screens from their smartphones.

Taking the mobile phone to engage with the digital out-of-home screen is a new creative way to reach consumers, but this execution hasn’t typically been utilized by SMBs. While an SMB might not be able to buy a digital billboard in Time Square, they may have a flat panel TV or digital screen installed in order to get creative on how they can allow consumers to interact with that screen.

For the smaller budgets, it is possible to work with ad networks to make smaller buys to marry strong creative with smaller location targets. But David talked about the need for ads to have some sort of emotional impact and not just a “click here to buy” or “click here for 20% off” messaging.

David also talked about the new marriage between creative and science he is seeing in the industry. Companies like xAd and Thinknear who have been traditionally thought of as location targeting experts, are now carrying out the execution of creative as well.

Both David and Greg found this marriage very important. They talked about how creative agencies that are making mobile ads without understanding where and to who the ad is being served just can’t be as effective as possible.

They also felt that high quality creative doesn’t solely belong to Fortune 500 companies. David discussed the way smaller agencies are helping SMBs, in Boise, Idaho for example, to create ads that are comparable in quality to larger agencies.

The problem still faced by the mobile space, as Greg discussed, is that there is still remnants of poor quality inventory on mobile with poor creative. The result is, advertisers see these bad examples and templated versions of ads and are less inclined to invest in mobile.

To that point, Greg discussed the possibility with programmatic creative. Usually when we discuss programmatic we talk about targeting, data, identifying right ad unit to serve, etc., but now the space is developing programmatic creative. Once the two forms of programmatic match up, consumers will be less inclined to recognize templates, which is good for the validity of mobile.

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