Why ‘blending in’ is the new standing out – the new frontiers of mobile advertising


Patrick Hourihan, Research Director EMEA, Yahoo

Changing  content consumption habits, driven by the proliferation of devices, means brands are having to innovate the way in which they communicate with consumers, particularly on mobile devices. We looked at how consumers are reacting to brands’ new efforts to engage with them, what they like already and what they want in future.

Our recent research study looked specifically at mobile native advertising and reveals that, when consuming a stream of content on mobile, users don’t filter ads specifically from the stream – in the way that they do through ‘banner blindness’. The study used eye-tracking and showed that a huge 85% of users visually engaged with Yahoo Gemini native ads, meaning their eyes were drawn to ads within a stream of content. This is 21% higher than visual engagement levels with other types of mobile display ad. According to our research, smartphone users are 2.2 times more likely to agree that ‘If content is engaging then I don’t care it is an advert’. This is great news for brands, because it shows a real willingness from consumers to want to engage with brand content within their mobile feeds.

Speaking at a recent Yahoo conference session, Neuroscientist Dr Jack Lewis told us “the brain has several important roles to help us get on in life, including how we process sensory information and deem content worth our time.”

The human brain adapts to the environment it is immersed in and mobile has opened up a new way of processing information. On mobile, the optimum way to digest information is through a stream of content. So we know a stream is the ideal from a user perspective but it’s also good news for brands. In a stream of information it is possible to serve advertising in a contextually relevant experience – both by matching the quality, tone and style of the editorial but also the format.

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Using weather to drive a multi-channel retail experience


David Bird, Weather Analyst at The Weather Channe


Having a weather strategy is a crucial part of an effective multichannel retail offering. Weather-based marketing can create a consistent tone and message across multiple consumer brand touchpoints to drive customer engagement. Owing to its “mobile first” strategy, The Weather Channel offers a number of high-quality native ad solutions that help retailers make weather a key part of its consumer facing marketing strategy.

M-commerce is winning in the UK e-retail market.

A number of studies have consistently identified the UK as one of the most advanced e-commerce markets globally, It is the largest e-commerce retail market in real terms in Europe, with one of the highest retail spends per capita. Moreover, one of the most notable shifts within e-commerce is the shift to m-commerce. A recent study by E-marketer estimates that in the UK, 52% of all retail website visits are from a mobile device and 26% of all e-commerce retail sales are now m-commerce; and within that, tablet commerce accounts for an ever greater proportion. Effective advertising on mobile devices is therefore vitally important for retailers in the UK to maintain their share of voice and remain top of mind, as the shopper journey evolves.

Maintaining a consistent consumer experience across digital platforms is vital.

One of the key challenges confronting retailers with their marketing in the new digitally-driven climate of retail is consistency across multiple consumer touch points. According to a recent study by Retail Week, approximately half of consumers feel there is insufficient consistency between their online and offline offering when it comes to pricing, branding, customer service levels and product range.

It is always important to recognise that consumers see brands, not channels, when shopping and demand a consistent brand experience. As a consequence, retailers must create a seamless shopping experience that is channel agnostic, and digital weather-based marketing campaigns can help brands deliver a consistent message which permeates through the digital space. Here’s how…

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Mobile: Carry High-Impact and Rising Stars in your Pocket


Cameron Hulett, Executive Director, EMEA, Undertone

Last year, advertisers and agencies became more aware of high impact formats, especially the IAB Rising Star formats, such as Billboard and Pushdown. According to a recent report by Undertone (The IAB Rising Stars: Gains, Challenges, and Cross-Screen Opportunities) 72 per cent of agencies have now adopted the desktop versions of these formats, but less than 40 per cent of agencies are even aware of the equivalent formats on mobile. The research also shows that there has only been a 10 per cent increase in mobile format adoption, which is particularly surprising considering the explosion of mobile among consumers.

This startling contrast shows mobile is the next opportunity for high impact advertising. Although Undertone has seen great success with its mobile formats such as Pull, Adhesion, and Full Page Flex, there appears to be an adoption-gap in the market uptake of mobile high impact. In fact our research demonstrated that less than 40 per cent of agencies are aware of the variety of formats available within the industry.

Living in a mobile world

We live in a world where audiences are no longer chained to their desks or desktop computers. Audiences are using multiple mobile devices to shop online, search the Internet, and send emails while on the move. Netflix and YouTube have overhauled the mobile video landscape, creating unique, entertaining and compelling mobile ad campaigns. Add social media into the mix, and it is clear mobile is where it’s at.

With the growing use of multi-devices, it is clear that advertising and digital campaigns need to stretch across multiple screens and formats to engage and interact with audiences effectively.

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Data maybe King, but creative has to be its Queen!


Paul O’Grady, Senior Communications Planning Manager, Marketing Services, Unilever UK

We often hear about what the biggest challenges are for mobile, each year these challenges change. As we race in a programmatic direction and swamp ourselves in data the media and marketing communities desire for this clear, clean data and cost efficiency is at the forefront of the conversation and the challenge. Data is complex, technology can be complex, the fragmented market is complex, the choice for business and the consumer has never been greater, the amount of content being produced grows at a rate so fast most of it goes by unnoticed.  What is apparent to me after attending both the MMA EMEA Forum and Smarties Awards is that big but ‘simple’ ideas win every time. What was clear was the best case studies and winners of the awards all had something in common ‘they gave the consumer some value’. This value does not always have a £ or $ in front of it which was the most important thing. The relationship between brands and consumer has changed and mobile is playing a significant part in this change. Data gives us insight, targeting, proximity, location but creative gives us the human and personalised message which builds relationships. Mobile is the single most personal media channel there is and like with any relationship you have to respect individuals. So we need relationships for brands that data and creative work effortlessly together from the conception. So now more than ever the balance between ‘logic’ and ‘magic’ needs to tip one way, it will be up to the industry to decide which.


Written by:
Paul O’Grady,
Senior Communications Planning Manager, Marketing Services, Unilever UK