How to ride the wave of “rich media” formats and enrich mobile advertising

by bold-lichterman

You open an application on your smartphone. An advertisement is displayed in full screen, a fixed visual that does not really catch the eye of the user. This waits for the famous cross to appear at the top right of the screen, clicks on it and closes the advertisement to consult the application without having looked at the advertisement. A gesture repeated hundreds of millions of times a day by smartphone owners. But this gesture is evolving, thanks to the analysis of advertising data and especially the arrival of new formats.

First of all, how does it work? The publisher of an application (or a mobile website) chooses a network to monetize its audience. Indeed, an application offering free content most often monetizes its audience through advertising. The choice of the monetization network is often made by the promise of a higher “fill rate” of their ad slots, which is called inventory. Application publishers most often decide to integrate several networks to monetize their audience, one not being enough to fill the inventory in question.

Two types of networks, the same challenge: buying and selling advertising. Smartphone users don’t know that there is this mechanism of buying and selling mobile ads that decides, in advance or in near real time, which ad will appear on a smartphone – or tablet – in depending on a large number of parameters: location, age, gender, interests, sites visited, etc.

These types of networks are: the so-called “traditional” networks, manages the purchases of advertisements planned according to a schedule fixed in advance. And, if it should be remembered for the readers of Frenchweb, the so-called “MarketPlace” or “Exchange” networks selling in real time (“RTB”, for Real Time Bidding, or real time auction) of advertising spaces at the very moment they are displayed .

Branding and performance, goals that tend to meet

Another aspect that is shaking up the mobile advertising market is the types of campaigns advertisers have. Until now, two objectives were predefined for the launch of an advertising campaign, “branding” or performance. To put it simply, “branding” corresponds more to an image objective, to reach the customer to publicize the brand, product, service, etc. The performance objective is, as its name suggests, with a view to achieving concrete results: obtain the highest possible engagement rate (number of clicks on the advertisement, number of downloads of an application, number of views video, etc.).

But these two objectives now tend to come together: on “branding” campaigns, advertisers are increasingly looking for engagement results. This is explained by the rise of programmatic on the one hand, but also by the emergence of many new advertising formats known as “Rich Media”.

New formats with 50% greater engagement potential. New formats are booming because they offer better engagement with the advertising target. These new formats most often consist of mixing traditional banners with video and interaction. For example, we can imagine a simple banner displayed at the bottom of an application. The latter, which presents a new collection of ready-to-wear, could flash an animated headband. The user is encouraged to slide their finger from left to right, as if to unlock their smartphone. Once the user has swiped their finger, a pop-up will display, in the form of a carousel, with different models that the user can directly purchase if they click on the image.


Another example of an innovative format, allowing a better impact without requiring astronomical development costs? Once the user has clicked on this same banner at the bottom of the smartphone, a video is launched on the same screen, without leaving the application. The video does not appear on the whole page but as a kind of pop-up filling the lower half of the screen. In this way, the user does not feel “betrayed” (by not exiting their current application) or forced to watch the video. Once completed, it erases itself to make room for the original application. These new formats are almost systematically based on characteristics that are much less invasive than in the past: by respecting the user’s navigation more, the chances of holding his attention are increased tenfold. It is also said that these new formats have a potential for engagement 50% greater than traditional formats. A figure that will certainly encourage the authorities to multiply this kind of initiatives.

Creativity and technology, the cocktail of the future for mobile advertising

These new formats, which once again do not rely on disproportionate technological development, however, require creativity. How to get attention? Create an interaction? A download stimulus? And all this without vampirizing the application on which the advertisement is hosted? The possibilities are numerous, but they remain limited, on mobile and in the current state of things, by standards set by the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau, association which structures communication on the Internet): standards of size, weight, duration for a video, etc. The idea is above all to avoid poorly calibrated advertisements for smartphone screens. These should not be too “heavy” so as not to make the user wait too long before he can actually access his application.

But smartphones are more and more powerful, more and more responsive and their Internet connection faster and faster. This should make it possible, in the months to come, to relax these rules established by the IAB.

The creativity / technology pair also makes it possible to ensure better visibility and better readability of advertising by the user. The technology makes it possible to capture all the exposure and interaction signals of a user, but also the engagement signals following a campaign. It is therefore becoming more and more interesting to submit a campaign to an A / B testing battery of different creations putting 3-4 creations in competition on the system and to analyze which one works best. The real-time analysis of all the signals received will make it possible to adjust all the parameters of a campaign in order to obtain the exposure that will have the most value for the advertiser.

Thus, it is quite possible for us to judge the effectiveness of an advertisement, no longer only by looking at the number of clicks generated, but by analyzing the time spent on the advertisement (for example for a video) or the number of ‘interaction with it (the opening of the advertisement or any interaction). This will then make it possible to optimize the campaign by selecting the creation with the best attractiveness. These Rich Media creations now make it possible to begin interacting with the user from the moment of exposure to advertising. Optimizing this interaction will have a much higher efficiency on the user’s engagement with the brand.

Fabrice GuezFabrice Guez started his career as an engineer in new technologies, before moving towards financial trading. Attracted by entrepreneurship, he founded, with Stéphane Pitoun, Adxperience in 2011 – a mobile programmatic marketing platform – combining his passion for new technologies with that of trading.