I work in mobile advertising. My friends know this and send me screengrabs of intrusive ads that annoy them. If I meet people they ask me if I am behind the annoying pop up ads like I am the evil mastermind behind it all, sitting in a large leather chair with a cat in my lap as I make pensive pyramid hands and chuckle to myself evilly as another intrusive ad is served to someone “excellent my pretties..”. I can happily say that I’m not in the business of producing intrusive ads. It got me thinking though... If these ads are so intrusive and have a such a negative effect why are they still being used in today's market?
OTP’s are high impact, have high viewability and are great for getting someone's attention on page load and true as it is, is this working in your favour when it comes to a better brand engagement experience for the user?
Let’s follow the life of an ad.
The client has a great new product, let’s call it X. The client has spent tens of thousands of dollars on this campaign with a creative agency. They really want to show it off with cool creative, in a high impact mobile-first advertising campaign. The creative suggests an OTP to the client. The campaign is booked, the client’s campaign is tweaked for mobile into an OTP format and set live. Happy days.
A user - let’s call him Chris is heading to work in the morning and while on the bus jumps onto a site he generally goes onto to kill time on the mundanity of public transport. After the page loads, he is served an OTP which covers the content of the site he is attempting to read. Annoyed by the intrusion of a complete irrelevancy of product X to Chris’ lifestyle, he looks to the
top right for that little x to close the ad (sometimes being held captive for 5 seconds before he can do so).
This ad will most likely have a frequency cap on it so it will serve to Chris maybe once a day for the length of the campaign. Every morning on the bus Chris sees the same ad and day after day closes it with more and more vigour as Chris doesn’t enjoy product X shoved down his throat.
After a week or less of being served the ad, Chris now has a negative feeling towards the brand and also the publisher for catering to such behaviour. Chris is annoyed at you for taking precious seconds of his life, loses it and installs an ad blocker.
These are your media dollars hard at work… You’ve essentially paid to annoy someone and block your ad. Chris will not only never see that ad again but all ads.
It’s not your fault though Client X, you thought you were doing the right thing and getting those eyeballs on your brand, and in truth you were but you were way too close to this campaign to think about the full 360 degrees of its effectiveness and any negative implications it may have. Without the education of how to run a successful mobile campaign how were you to know?
OTPs and intrusive ads are now considered a legacy format and deemed bad practice (www.betterads.org). Probably worth noting that every time someone closes an ad that is then fed back to the client as a “level of engagement”. So it’s no surprise when then the number is so high as that’s the amount of people closing your ad.
There is a better way to advertise.
There’s a self-learning algorithm on a mobile-specific DSP (Widespace) that can make sure your ad targets the right consumer based on the level engagement like swipe or dwell. The more engagement within the ad unit the harder the algorithm works. By targeting the right audience. You, in turn, reduce impression wastage, making sure your media dollars are well spent.
It’s no longer about the format, it’s about functionality within it. Why aren't you trying to engage your audience? Your ad should grab a user's’ attention and not by slapping them in the face. Showcase your product, get them swiping and educate about your brand before the ultimate “tap to buy”. Think about how would you want to be sold an ad and how you would want your brand to appear in a someone's eyes.
Let’s get your campaign running on a brand-safe, premium publisher with no fraud and high viewability.
Sweet! Your campaign is now running. Not only are you targeting the right people without even trying but you are also engaging them and getting reports back on your ad unit on a granular level for mobile-specific metrics, not just clicks.
A non-obtrusive, engaging format with high viewability that finds the relevant audience for you. Too good to be true? It’s not.