New Wave of Interactive Ads Designed to Engage Mobile Users

According to Google, only 54 percent of online video ads are viewable (excluding those on YouTube). More companies are trying to get people engaged with their online ads instead of scrolling past them. Viewers may be prompted to talk back, swipe, or shoot targets in interactive ads. This new type of advertising is aimed at mobile users as people increasingly use their phones to access the Internet. Google and other companies hope interactive ads may help generate more mobile advertising revenue.

mobile2The problem with online advertising is that it’s hard to tell how many people the ad has actually reached. Many people just tune out the banners and sidebars and scroll past them, especially on small mobile screens. That’s part of the reason that mobile accounts for only one-fifth of $50 billion total digital advertising revenue, according to Wired.

However, interactive ads can change that because advertisers will know exactly how many people took action. Perhaps they’ll talk back to the radio ads from startup XAPP.

XAPP wants to bring more revenue to digital radio by creating ads that prompt users for a voice command to start playing another radio show. Zentrick, another startup, created an ad for the “Call of Duty” video game that involves shooting targets. InMobi lets advertisers overlay a call-to-action on videos.

All of these strategies are optimal for mobile because people can give voice commands, play games, and make calls straight from their phone. Other interactive ads are more subtle in their mobile design. For example, Snapchat users have to hold down their finger while an ad plays. Google, the largest online advertiser, unveiled new ads for mobile search that require swiping.

Only Half of Online Video Ads Are Viewable, Google Says, The Wall Street Journal, 5/8/15
Snapchat Debuts Video Ads for 2 Cents a View, Adweek, 5/7/15
Googling on Mobile Devices Surpasses PCs in U.S. for 1st Time, Associated Press, 5/5/15

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