From ideas to execution – how to make best-in-class mobile creative

Mobile Marketing - Member Content

Rowan Newman, head of creative at Weve, demonstrates how innovative marketers look to the native features available on mobile when it comes to constructing campaigns that will engage and delight consumers.

A well-designed mobile ad can shift metrics and increase the perception of quality and trust in a brand. Meanwhile a bad creative can become a source of frustration for consumers and have a detrimental impact. In fact one third of consumers blame the advertiser themselves for a poorly designed mobile ad, with 78 per cent of people claiming to be bothered by campaigns that are not optimised for their phones, according to stats from the IAB.

The truth is that running bad creative on mobile - the most personal device we own - may do more harm than good. At Weve Source we aim to safeguard against this, educating our advertisers on the easiest ways to captivate an audience not only with a mobile-first creative idea but equally as important how it should look on a mobile screen.

Mobile creative ideas: Start with the sensors
One of the main differentiators of mobile to other media is the diverse range of sensors our devices hold. They’re the reason we can make calls, unlock our home screens in a glance and pay for the train without reaching for our wallets. They’re the reason our phones have become such an integral part of our daily lives.

Using the phone’s unique features can increase campaign engagement ten-fold (Weve Art & Science of Engagement, 2017). This could include anything from the well-utilised gyroscope, GPS and touch screen to the lesser-used pedometer, magnetometer and microphone.

To-date there are some great examples of brands using the phones features to do powerful things that don’t just engage users but deliver against campaign objectives. For example:

Go Balls Out by FCB New Zealand
Useful Features: GPS, Pedometer, Accelerometer

Exercise is one of the biggest preventers of testicular cancer. To drive awareness of this Go Balls Out encouraged men to get out in the park and ‘map their cock ‘n’ balls’. Tracked via GPS men were invited to share their doodles and in just two weeks four million people had watched videos on how to check themselves for testicular cancer.

The Snickers Hungerithm by Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
Useful Features: Wi-fi, Antenna, 3G and 4G

Through the antenna, wi-fi, 3G and 4G we are constantly connected. Snickers capitalised on this with their Hungerithm, generating mobile coupons in real-time and changing the price of the chocolate based on the mood of the Internet. The angrier we all were, the cheaper the chocolate.

Deutsche Telekom's The Lenz App by Saatchi & Saatchi London
Useful Features: Front and rear camera

The phone’s front and rear cameras enabled Deutsche Telekom to create The Lenz App. Their aim was to drive association between the brand and their primary colour magenta, one of their key differentiators in market. Any magenta surface became a portal for exclusive Gorillaz content that was unlocked using augmented reality via the phone’s camera.

The launch of the iPhone X’s True Depth camera system is one of the latest sensors to be integrated at scale and it could mark an exciting creative opportunity for advertisers. Not only does it enable the iPhone X to generate a 3D map of the user’s face but it does it fast enough to support motion data. We’ve seen this already in animojis but imagine if advertisers could use these face-meshes to place a user’s true-to-life avatar into an ad.

Mobile-first design: Small changes get results
Defining the concept and creative idea is just half of the challenge. Even the savviest use of the sensors can under-perform if the creative feels too complex or is not optimised for a mobile screen. Close attention to design and layout is key to making a mobile creative perform and often it’s the smallest changes that make the biggest impact.

Starting with asset selection, advertisers should aim to be open-minded, looking beyond digital asset-banks to things like print and out of home. Full-page print ads can be the most succinct and visually impactful, while digital six-sheets include the kind of simple animation that can encourage and sustain engagement on a mobile device. Just adding very basic animation like a pulse of a button or a fade-in on text can be an effective way to capture attention, something that we’ve seen double campaign recall at Weve.

When it comes to video assets, short, auto-play with sound-off are widely accepted best practices, but mobile data can enrich this further. Understanding the context of the customer allows advertisers to deliver the most appropriate content. For example short, snackable video can be delivered to customers on-the-go, while longer form content served during their downtime at home.

Clicks are increasingly cited as a dying metric, but a carefully crafted call-to-action can significantly extend face-time with a brand. ‘Find Out More’ and ‘Tap to Expand’ are among the most overused commands on the Internet, but how many times have they really compelled you to interact with a product? Copy should be short and actually compelling with the call-action present on the ad at all times.

Finally if in doubt think less is more. According to Google half of people leave a website that takes more than three seconds to load, so you can imagine their patience when it comes to advertising. Simple creative with a clear and focused user journey not only provides the most positive customer experience but also helps to keep the file size down.

Ultimately a good creative idea can fall short if it’s not designed with a mobile screen in mind. But equally a well-designed ad can fail to engage if it doesn’t utilise the features that make our phones so unique. A mobile-first approach to idea and execution is one of the most effective ways to engage audiences while delivering against campaign objectives too.

Rowan Newman is head of creative at Weve.