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Early Branding, Clear Call to Action, Greater User Control Provide Paths to More Effective Mobile Advertising

Creative that delivers branding early on and outlines a clear call to action, along with ad units that give viewers greater control over engagement, have shown to be more effective approaches to advertising on mobile platforms.

That’s according to original research presented today by the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) at its’ 2017 Audience Measurement forum, ““Modern Measurement: Media, Models & Methods.”

The research, presented by ARF Executive Manuel Garcia-Garcia Ph.D., SVP, Research & Innovation, Global Ad Effectiveness, is part of the How Advertising Works series launched by the association last year.

The analysis, conducted by Merchant Mechanics along with Nielsen and Google, showed that early branding and establishment of a clear call to action (CTA) were clear creative drivers of success for mobile advertising.

In the study, early branding and CTA were more than twice as effective in capturing initial attention than seen in the control advertising.  In addition, early branding and CTA increased visual attention, with early branding also showing a significant increase in engagement and ad recall. 

The study also looked at various delivery formats for their impact on ad engagement. The research indicated that payoff ads were more than twice effective than pop-ups, in-stream or pre-rolls in securing view duration, while non-disruptive ad units – such as pre-roll and payoff ads – were the most motivating to viewers, with the highest level of recall.

As relates to ad blocking, the research showed that with ads that gave users the greatest control – such as pre-roll and payoff ads – the desire for ad blocking was lower. 

The role of audio in engagement also was shown to have a significant effect. Units with greater control, such as with click-to-play, had longer views than those with autoplay or autoplay with audio. In fact, disruptive audio showed a correlation to ad avoidance, with click to play generating much greater motivation to ad engagement.

“Clearly, what the research shows is that there is much greater benefit from not only letting the user have control over audio, but also in not disrupting the content experience,” said Garcia-Garcia.  “In combination with providing branding early and leveraging incentives through CTA, the analysis provides solid guidance for the best path to effective mobile advertising.”

About the Advertising Research Foundation

The Advertising Research Foundation (“The ARF”) is an organization dedicated to creating, curating, and sharing objective, industry-level advertising research. We enable members with unique, research-based insights to make true impact on their advertising and build marketing leadership within their organizations. Founded nearly 80 years ago, The ARF’s members today include more than 400 leading brand advertisers, agencies, research firms, and media-tech companies. Together, we challenge conventions and discover new, actionable insights through objective research at scale.

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