Mobile advertising: Interactive versus interstitial and outstream video versus pre-roll. Consumers have clear preferences.

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With mobile device penetration reaching some unprecedented proportions, consumers are ever more reliant on their smartphones and tablets to access and control the world around them. In order for marketers to continue to encourage consumers to engage with ads, campaigns need to be reinvented in order to cater to an ever more demanding audience.

Now, as part of the Format Effect series, Publicitas in connection with Kantar Millward Brown and Huawei’s Honor smartphone brand, surveyed customers on the appeal of different mobile and video advertising formats, as well as measures that impact these formats.

The Format Effect Part 1 – Mobile

When it comes to consumer enjoyment of mobile ads, interactive formats generally fare a lot better for positive reactions compared to interstitials. Millennials are much more frequently enjoying a mobile advert compared to older age groups. Interactive ads scored 91% for being labelled as ‘fun’ and 90% as being ‘different’.

Interactive formats are more enjoyable

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Source: publicitas.com

However, just 48% of respondents considered the ad they had seen to be ‘different’ from other ads. This shows that creativity has to be stepped up and kept up in order to impress consumers.

When it comes to brand appeal, just under half of consumers felt that an interactive mobile ad made a brand seem more appealing. This figure is slightly higher for millennials who considered brand appeal to be higher (52%).

Over four in ten participants thought that an interactive advertising format makes a brand stand out from other mobile brands and 14% consider it to be ‘very different’. That’s an increase of 65% compared to interstitials.

Interestingly, such brand differentiation had an effect on sales and product consideration. Interactive formats resulted in almost half of those seeing them considering a purchase from the brand in the future and 14% said that they would be much more likely to buy a branded product. That’s a 32% increase in purchase consideration for interactive ads compared to interstitials.

Brand appeal

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Source: publicitas.com

In addition, interactive mobile advertising formats trigger emotions which are not experienced with interstitial formats including surprise (90%), excitement (70%), and intrigue (33%). Interstitial ads were instead viewed as nothing new (29%), boring (11%) and only 8% felt they were interested in an interstitial ad’s brand.

Interactive formats trigger emotions

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Source: publicitas.com

The research confirms that consumers have a preference for interactivity. This can help brands and marketers lift brand image and result in higher purchase consideration. In addition, interactive mobile advertising formats bring out emotions which can help lift brand metrics and ROI.

The Format Effect Part 2 – Video

The second part of the research focussed on outstream versus pre-roll video advertising. It found that overall, outstream is more likely to increase engagement compared to pre-roll. This also has an effect on brand favourability and purchase consideration.

Six in ten participants said they enjoyed either format. However, outstream video ads are more encouraging in keeping consumers watching other videos. 65% of those viewing pre-roll ads continued to view the clip after the ad had finished. For outstream ads that figure was 9% higher (74%). Once again, millennials are more likely to consume content after viewing outstream ads (85%) compared to pre-roll ads (70)%. For this age group, video ads aren’t as much of a disruption as they may be for other ages.

Video consumer enjoyment

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Source: publicitas.com

Overall, pre-roll ads resulted in 48% of correspondents considering a purchase compared to 86% for outstream video ads. That’s quite a significant difference.

For 54% of viewers, pre-roll ads enhanced their portray of a brand, making it seem more appealing compared to a slightly higher percentage of 56% for outstream ads. Overall, millennials viewed brands in more favourable light when viewing outstream video compared to other age groups (65%).

Brand appeal for pre-roll versus outstream

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Source: publicitas.com

Indeed, outstream viewers were found to be 84% more likely to want to own a brand advertised with millennials more than twice as likely of wanting ownership of a brand compared to pre-roll viewers.

The second part of the Format Effect study reveals a good level of interest and appeal coming from video formats overall, particularly among millennial consumers. Outstream video is a less intrusive format and delivers higher levels of engagement compared to pre-roll. This makes it a more enticing and encouraging way to advertise on mobile devices.

So what does that mean for advertisers?

Marketers should stand out and dare to create ads that are different from other adverts. Indeed, a focus on creating enjoyment and conveying positive messages is a good way to entice consumers. However, focusing on the right format is just as important. Format appeal has to be taken into consideration as it can establish a closer brand connection. Marketers should also aim to trigger emotions by developing creative that’s engaging, but also grabs a consumer’s attention. In addition, advertisers should consider to creatively format their ads for different environments. And lastly, it’s advisable to think about millennials and different ways to approach different age groups.