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How to get the most out of rich media ads

How to get the most out of rich media ads Alex Rahaman

As rich media has become an increasingly popular method for advertisers to interact and engage with consumers, leading mobile advertising vendors have teamed up to provide major new opportunities to brands and advertising agencies seeking to increase the effectiveness of their mobile campaigns through the fusion of rich media ad creation and effective real-time bidding. This article explores the most effective uses of rich media that can yield inspiring, engaging, and efficient mobile advertising results.

According to an Interactive Advertising Bureau study, 70 percent of consumers see mobile ads as a "personal invitation" as opposed to a "personal invasion." By and large, advertisers have taken full advantage of the inviting nature of the mobile channel by providing useful, engaging information to smartphone and tablet users. The common denominator across successful mobile advertising campaigns is that each involves an inviting, interactive experience and a targeted call to action specific to the user -- so much so that the mobile consumer is willing to stop what they're doing and "opt in" to the ad. And people don't simply welcome these ads, they want them.

Great, advertisers have the creative execution part down, but what about figuring out where to place these rich media ads? With rich media beginning to take many differing forms through video, games, and photo galleries, just to name a few, one of the challenges facing advertisers is finding the right placement for a diverse mix of rich media advertisements.  Below are five tips for how advertisers can get the most from rich media ads.

Execute rich media via a demand side platform (DSP)

An effective demand side platform uses real-time bidding (RTB) to bid across multiple exchanges and can see which traffic works best for the rich media execution. The DSP can then buy more of the traffic that works well for the ad and will have a better understanding of which audiences respond best to specific components in the ad (i.e. video, social media sharing, photo galleries, games, forms).

Be sure to apply rich media on apps that are interactive themselves

Placing a rich media ad, using actions such as swiping up and down, or tilting and shaking on an already interactive app (such as Fruit Ninja or Angry Birds) is likely to benefit from already high levels of engagement.

Be sure to support the full range of ad formats

It's called "rich media" for a reason. Advertisers can venture much further than conventional ad placing, including image galleries, video, social media sharing, and location based attributes! All of these can lead to a far higher level of engagement to utilize them sensibly and methodically.

Make the most of MRAID

IAB's "Mobile Rich Media Ad Interface Definitions" has made it easier for rich media ads to communicate with the apps they are being served into, and has made sure that rich media adheres to a certain standard and is made simple enough to allow that standard to be obtained. By improving the fit of the ad with the "look and feel" of the app or mobile web page that it is being placed, coupled with RTB, advertisers can be sure that their ad is reaching the right audience, with the right message.

Remember the capability of the hardware too!

Mobiles devices these days are no slouches and have many tangible capabilities. "Shake it, Twist it, Tilt it!" All of these can become nice touches to create a memorable ad that may just push the consumer that extra inch in your favour. RTB can support the full range of ad formats (animated banners, expandable, interstitial, etc.) and ad features (such as image galleries, video, and click to call), gamification, as well as tangible device capabilities (touch, shake, and tilt).

Hopefully, these five tips act as a "crash course" in educating advertisers how to increase the effectiveness of their mobile campaigns through the fusion of rich media ad creation and RTB. In today's competitive advertising environment, there's a massive advantage for advertisers who understand the marriage of the two. Rich media mobile ad creation ensures the production of engaging ads. Proper RTB execution, via an effective DSP, ensures those engaging ads get in front of the right people. Together, and only together, is absolute mobile consumer engagement all but ensured. 

Mobile consumers expect brands to deliver useful experiences, helpful deals, and more. As long as brands and advertisers keep delivering engaging rich media ads that offer value to mobile consumers, everyone will continue to benefit.

Alex Rahaman is the CEO of Strike Ad.

Mihael Mikek is CEO and co-founder of Celtra.

On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.

"Hand holding magic phone" image via Shutterstock.


Alex is an experienced Mobile Advertising entrepreneur. Prior to StrikeAd, in 2007, he launched and ran the Unanimis (Orange) Mobile Ad Network in the UK, which he grew significantly following Unanimis' sale to France Telecom in 2009. At Unanimis,...

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