Mobile first, creation first! Setting up a successful campaign

It is not only mobile-optimized ad formats that are important for mobile campaigns to be effective. Advertising must succeed in captivating the users.

Mobile first, creation first

Always at hand and always on: mobile phones are the most personal devices for consumers. According to a Deloitte study, people look at their smartphones 30 times a day on average. In the case of younger people aged between 18 and 24, it is even 56 times. For the advertising market this means many opportunities to get in touch with mobile users. However, mobile marketing does not simply mean treating the mobile device like a small desktop computer. It has to be seen as a channel in its own right with its own set of rules. The industry association BVDW has summarized which formats work for branding or for performance. Those who want to get the most out of their mobile campaign have to use the specific strengths of smartphones and make their own creation based on this.


Thinking in mobile moments

Mobile should not only be thought of in terms of small screens but also in terms of small moments. Every time a user reaches for their mobile phone, a mobile moment opens up. Whether on the train, at home or at work, each moment has a different background and purpose. The creative challenge is to create advertising tailored to the respective mobile usage situation.

Burger King is a good example of this. Using psychographic segmentation features, eight motivators were translated into creations with special offers. In addition, the motifs were delivered based on the geodata of rural and urban areas, the time of day and the specific devices. Thus, dynamic display not only covered the user’s situation, but also the online usage behavior at different times of the day. The texts were adapted both to the personality and to the time of day.

Such targeted calls to action can be further optimized for mobile use. For example, this could include saving a discount code or adding a calendar entry. This gives the user considerable added value compared to other forms of advertising.


Touch and tilt: using the strengths of mobile phones

Good mobile marketing campaigns focus on the special features of these small devices. These include its touch display and tilt function, which can be specifically used by marketing. The German insurance provider AOK, for example, pointed out the harmful consequences of curved posture on spine health day. Those who read the advertorial with their back bent forward could not read it. It was only when users straightened up that they were able to bring the medical content and tips for strengthening their backs to eye level. The content of the advertorial tilted with the movement of the smartphone until the advertising format minimized into a so-called “sticky footer” with an ideal smartphone position. This linked to the health insurance company’s landing page on touch. When the smartphone left its ideal healthy position again, the advertising format expanded across the entire surface and provided instructions on how to correctly position the device again.


Ensure playful interaction

Smartphones offer extensive ad features that make mobile advertising an interactive experience and stand out from other forms of advertising. Playful interactions have a positive influence on the advertising experience and contribute to a successful “mobile moment”. For example, many users use their mobile phones to play games.

Marketers can pick up on this, as Audi recently showed. In the car company’s ad, users are shown a screen with two cars and can decide whether they would like to see the small Audi A1 or the SUV Audi Q3. By swiping, as users are familiar with from Tinder, the consumer can select one of the two models and receive further information on the display. “Two models in attractive graphics on one screen with a technically surprising vertical guide is an ad innovation that perfectly matches the Audi brand. We are excited about the results of the brand and performance effects and hope for a noticeable increase,” says Yvonne Hippner, Head of Marketing Communication Germany at Audi.


Shorter content is better

While usage via a stationary PC is mainly characterized by longer, concentrated sessions, the smartphone accompanies its users throughout the day and is used in many short, targeted sessions. Ads have to take this into account, which means text should be short and easy to grasp. Lavish use of imagery helps users quickly understand the topic.

This also applies to mobile videos. For mobile use, videos should be kept shorter overall. Long mobile videos are rarely watched to the end. Even if most TV commercials or movie trailers are longer, no video ad should run for more than 15 seconds. In order to run successfully in mobile advertising, a specially produced short version is worthwhile. In the evening, however, the duration of a video can be extended up to five minutes. The reason for this is an increase in use at that time of day by around 30 percent. This is also due to the fact that users can watch videos more often in the evening than during the day in a Wi-Fi environment.


The bottom line:

Whether interstitial, medium rectangle or video ad, a good mobile creation goes beyond the pure ad format. As the examples from AOK or Audi show, mobile phones can be used to do things that cannot otherwise be done on any other channel. Tilting, tapping and shaking are all variations that can make a campaign on a mobile phone unique and memorable. Less is more. Nothing stands in the way of a successful smartphone campaign if marketers focus on only one characteristic at a time and don’t overload ads with too much content.