The London Olympics have been years in the planning, but with just one week until the opening ceremony, some brands might be having last-minute thoughts about how to squeeze the most out of this huge opportunity. Enter rich media mobile advertising which, if you choose a partner that iterates quickly and provides good creative input, can easily be taken from concept to launch within a working week. And it’s not just fast: mobile advertising can reach multiple geographic regions and offer much more measurable value than other forms of advertising.
The case for mobile advertising
Mobile and sport most definitely work together. In February 2012, Harris Interactive estimated that nearly half of SuperBowl XLVI TV viewers would check their mobile devices up to ten times during the game. Almost a third of viewers under the age of 45 were expected to watch the game with “device in hand”.
And that’s just the people in front of the TV. A mobile audience away from the screen can still be engaged. Mobile is ubiquitous whereas television is not, and when people carry their devices in their pockets, they carry your advertising too.
Mobile is even starting to rival television for audience reach. The potential audiences of the most popular smartphone apps can rival those of popular TV shows. Angry Birds alone has over one billion downloads to date.
Connecting brands to people
Rich media mobile ads include elements that people can interact with in some way, for example by tapping the screen to move a character in a game or swiping it to reveal a hidden image. This immersion means that they can take over where other ads stop: the TV ad that shows fizzy drinks can be ‘shaken’ as a rich media ad and get fizzier; the radio promotion that plays a hit track can let people choose or even buy their favourite track from a selection when given the rich media treatment.
They also offer exciting opportunities to cross-link print and broadcast ad campaigns with mobile devices. Film studios for example might have highly successful TV campaigns and a popular Facebook page, which rich media can bring together seamlessly into one engaging ad format by offering trailer viewings and social media integration.
Beat the clock
Back to the urgency: the Olympic flame will flicker over London on 27th July, and the clock in Trafalgar Square is ticking. But, unlike other forms of advertising, you can beat the clock if you start now.
If you work with a good creative services team, they will identify what rich media can bring to your campaign, and how unique touchscreen device elements can be incorporated into your rich media ads. They will think about what features of your products or services can be touched, or how swiping could give people the most immersive, engaging experience with your brand.
There are some great examples in the automotive industry, which has been quick to embrace the mobile rich media opportunity. At Adfonic we recently built a campaign for an automotive company using an expandable banner in which people could give the car a virtual respray, try out different types of paintwork, and change the wheels. There was even an option to book a test drive and order a PDF catalog.
We’ve also seen some nice examples of creativity within the FMCG sector. A pharmaceutical company that markets detergent products enabled people to emulate the effects of their product on their smartphone screen by ‘wiping’ a misty screen clean, and revealing a newer product. Similarly a beauty brand let people ‘rub’ their blemishes away using the mobile swipe feature.
The fast food business has also let people play with their brands through rich media ads, by creating their own drinks through games that catapult ingredients into a cup, or playing ‘pairs’ memory games with the tasty ingredients in recipes.
The Olympics has plenty of symbolism to suit rich media treatment. Sponsors have already given consumers a virtual chance to beat Usain Bolt, or let them kill off the competition to win gold. If you’re not a sponsor then get creative. Gymnasts can tumble down the page from one ad slot to another, hammer throwers can spin and launch their missiles upwards, archers can be directed to the target through the touchscreen, tennis aces can be served by timing the taps…
Finally, while rich media provides the hard metrics such as CTRs and click volumes, it is more about delivering on softer metrics around product awareness, purchase intent and product recall. Mobile ad networks can feed this data back into their analytics to give a highly detailed picture of how your campaign is performing.
If you’re still not convinced, well, there are other avenues you can explore to maximise your exposure during the Olympics. We hear that Canary Wharf still doesn’t have a buyer for its full advertising wrap if you have several million pounds to spare and plenty of time on your hands…