IAB Mobile Ad Formats

The IAB Mobile Push ad, one of five new mobile ad formats. (Shown here as a still image.)

What are the most effective ad formats for mobile? A new study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) found that five new mobile ad formats showed greater user interaction and higher brand/message recall than standard ones.

The five ad formats, part of new ad approaches the IAB calls Mobile Rising Stars, were tested on 1500 adults in a lab setting through a study conducted in partnership with in-content contextual technology provider Vibrant Media and digital measurement firm comScore, in connection with the OREO Cookie vs. Crème marketing campaign.

Among other results, the study found that these Mobile Rising Stars resulted in twice the number of slides, swipes and taps by users than standard mobile formats. About one in 10 respondents interacted with a Mobile Rising Stars ad, compared to about one in 20 for traditional banners. The five formats are now part of the IAB Standard Ad Portfolio for marketers.

Beyond the Click

Additionally, 98 percent of those interacting with a Mobile Rising Star ad remembered the brand name, with 18 percent of users more likely to remember the name compared to users who viewed a standard mobile banner ad. Twenty-three percent of those tested were considered more likely to recall the message, and two-thirds of users rated the Mobile Rising Stars ads “better” or “much better” than standard ads.

Vibrant Media CEO Cella Irvine said that the research showed the Mobile Rising Star formats “enhanced interaction functions and consumer controls” that helped to “connect brands and consumers in engaging ways,” compared with standard mobile ads that are not optimized for the mobile experience.

One of the key differences in the ads is an emphasis on the swipes, taps, scrolls and flips that extend mobile user interaction beyond the typical click. The IAB Rising Stars initiative, which applies to all digital platforms, is intended to find new kinds of brand advertising, and these Mobile Stars are designed to work on all major mobile platforms so that ad buys can be conducted in scale.

Mobile Rising Stars Competition

Last year, IAB conducted a Mobile Rising Stars competition to create new mobile ad formats. There were 60 entries from a variety of ad agencies, and the submissions were rated by a panel of more than 50 judges, mostly digital creatives. The criteria for selecting the winners included user experience, potential for branding, functionality, integration with the content environment and ease of adoption. Submissions from a dozen submitters were chosen, including ones from AOL, Google, Mediamind, Microsoft, Time Inc., The Weather Channel and Yahoo.

These five new mobile ad types are called Filmstrip, Slider, Adhesion Banner, Push and Full Page Flex.

Filmstrip, created by Microsoft Advertising, is a vertical or horizontal scrolling screen that offers multiple panels. On a smartphone, it starts as part of the screen and then expands full screen, while it can live as a side banner on a tablet.

Slider, created by Mediamind, Gannett’s PointRoll and The Weather Channel, starts with a standard ad banner, which slides horizontally into full screen after user interaction and utilizes sight, sound, motion and interaction. The standard ad banner “container” stays in the same location to house the close function.

Adhesion Banner, Push

Adhesion Banner, created by ad agency Crisp, persists on the screen as the user interacts with the device or the content, such as changing orientation. But it disappears when the viewer is interacting with content, such as scrolling, zooming or changing the orientation, and reappears at screen bottom when interaction stops. If the disappearing/re-appearing act is not supported, the banner remains fixed at all times.

Push, created by Mediamind and Pictela, is a two-component ad unit. The first, initial unit is a top or bottom screen banner ad which, following user interaction, vertically pulls to full screen ad experience with visuals, sound, motion or interaction over publisher content.

Full Page Flex, credited to virtually all of the submitters, is a full screen format that is intended to be designed once and then responsively implemented for any screen size, and it uses native device capabilities if feasible, such as swiping to close the ad.