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People are used to seeing a variety of different mobile ads, whether standard banners, or something a bit more interactive. A July 2016 study found that when served with a mobile ad, the largest share of respondents actually looked at an interstitial one, which is somewhat expected since this format pops up and blocks the entire mobile screen. Still, attention to the interstitial ad after it was served dropped dramatically compared to the other mobile ad formats.
Some 70 members of MediaScience’s US panel participated in a neuroscience study for Kargo, a mobile brand advertising company. Participating panelists typically read news content on their smartphones, and were recruited based on demographics to resemble the audiences of the publishers used in the study. Panelists were shown mobile ads in premium editorial content while their biometric responses were measured. The ads spanned five verticals, which included automotive, CPG, finance, retail and telecom, and included three standard formats, as well a custom format by Kargo.
More than seven in 10 (71%) respondents looked at the interstitial ads for an average of 2.5 seconds. But just because interstitial ads are big and bold doesn’t mean that mobile users will give them a second glance. This particular format only had an average of 1.9 follow-up looks, and compared to an in-stream ad, which saw 4.2 follow-up looks, that number is low.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents looked at the Sidekick format, which is Kargo’s custom format. It comprises of a small animation at either one of the corners of the screen, and once it’s tapped, it expands. Compared to other formats served, Sidekick received the most follow-up looks—6.5.
In-stream ads, which appear within the stream of editorial content did just as well. Some 63% of participants looked at the ad, with an average of 4.2 follow-up looks. Fewer mobile users look at adhesion ads, which are just standard mobile banners. Yet there were more follow-up looks than for interstitial ads, and almost as many as for in-stream ads.
It’s difficult to say what makes a successful mobile ad, or how to get more people to look at one. A study from Verve Mobile asked US teen and millennial internet users what elements would make the “perfect” mobile ad, and many cared more about whether they could save and access it later, or share it, than whether the ad featured interactive and engaging elements.
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