It is no secret that HTML5 enables developers to build stunning animations and dazzling rich-media experiences. In addition to attracting more viewers, a well-designed interactive ad or landing page can boost conversions. As a result, more and more advertising budgets are moving from mobile banner ads to rich media.
A study from the web browser company Opera Software further shows the increase in popularity of rich media ads. According to the study, from January to June 2012, HTML5 mobile rich-media ad executions increased from 28 percent to 51 percent, while the number of standard and expandable banner executions diminished.
In the examples in this article, you can see how HTML5 creates a compelling user experience. These rich-media-enhanced mobile ads, landing pages, and websites can entertain viewers for direct response campaigns as well as increase brand loyalty.
3-D user experience
3-D mobile ads are highly interactive and provide brands with a unique opportunity to engage with their target audiences. The evolution of smartphones and tablets saw the addition of the gyroscope feature that senses motion, including vertical and horizontal rotation. In addition to enabling users to play games very smoothly by simply moving the phone, this capability can be very useful for mobile ads promoting new products.
By tipping the tablet or phone, consumers see a 360 panoramic view of the latest model of their favorite automobile, as can be seen in the latest Infiniti ad that enables potential buyers to explore the vehicle as if they were actually in the car. The same functionality can be used for ads promoting a new home -- or just about anything. Although a cool addition to any mobile ad, 3-D creatives are innovative and relatively new, so they are likely to still be costly to design and develop.
Shaking up your device
Smartphone and tablet users can now answer their phones and activate their speaker with a simple shake. This capability can also be used to add some spunk to mobile ads. By inviting viewers to shake the phone or iPad, there is another dimension making the interaction more memorable.
In the very innovative Pepsi Max ad below, you are invited to shake your iPad, thereby causing a big boom. Take note that some ads will require a click in addition to the shake, in order to ensure the user intended to interact with the ad, thereby avoiding accidental clicks.
Capitalizing on the latest work-out craze and people's passion for playlists, the sport and activity drink Mizone ran an interactive HTML5 campaign on Shazam and Fox Sports to launch Mizone ZoneLab. The ad shows the screen filling up with water and leaves behind a link to Mizone's dedicated mobile site. This mobile app/ad delivers a unique music experience that puts athletes in the "zone" when it comes to working out, while keeping viewers engaged and creating a memorable brand experience.
Mobile online mix
British Gas leveraged HTML5's versatility by enabling viewers of an online ad to first select if it's a "cold & raining" day or a "fine & sunny" day outside. Based on the viewer's click, the ad expands to summer or winter mode and then invites viewers to scan a QR code to experience the remainder of the ad on their mobiles.
Once the ad switches to the mobile device, subscribers witness the convenience of controlling their home thermostat remotely so that they can ensure their house is nice and cozy (in winter) and pleasantly cool (in summer) by the time they arrive. The ability to view the ad using the two devices enables consumers to feel the convenience of controlling the heat at home using both the mobile phone and a thermostat.
Further down the conversion funnel, it is vital to remember that a richer experience can also improve the user experience past the initial click. After using HTML5 on the ad itself, smart advertisers are also applying the same level of creativity to the landing page.
Mobster, a global mobile content company, showed that additional conversions can be achieved by converting a static landing page to a full-motion HTML5 landing page for an entertaining app that turns your mobile phone into an X-ray body scanner. Comparing the performance of the different landing pages, the ads that directed to the rich media landing page outperformed those directed to the static version of the landing pages, boosting conversions by 58 percent.
Full-action Table Footzy
There are dozens of foosball games out there for the mobile, but engaging users with a cool game demo developed with HTML5 can make the difference. The best way to sell a mobile gaming app is to get the viewer in on the user experience from the beginning. The more they play and engage with the game, the more likely they are to buy. Mobster created a fun landing page including a foosball game enabling the users to kick and score.
Having eye-catching creative is a key differentiator for mobile apps and mobile ads, and HTML5's popularity is increasing as a result. The Financial Times' HTML5 app is now more popular than its native iOS app, with more than 2 million unique users. Yamaha increased traffic by 300 percent with its HTML5 apps, which were developed to drive interest and build brand perception for its new watercraft vehicles.
Universally, HTML5 is recognized as a way to win over viewers. Based on its success in increasing conversions and brand building, it could just be the extra ingredient to make mobile ads meet their true potential.
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"Girl in love and mobile phone" image via Shutterstock.