Why aren’t mobile banner ads more effective?

Why aren’t mobile banner ads more effective?

Mobile banner ads should be more effective than desktop ones. Why aren’t they?

People remember and recognize banners better on mobile devices than they do on computer screens. But on other measures, mobile ads perform worse. What are we doing wrong?

If you met a time traveler from the year 1996 and told them what the mobile device in your pocket can do, they wouldn’t believe you. It’s an internet browser, a camera, a games machine, a shopping assistant, a personal organizer, a video player…Apparently you can even use these things to make phone calls.

In fact, adults in the US now spend more than three hours a day on their mobile devices (and that’s excluding phone calls).

The rise and rise of mobile is of huge significance for advertisers, especially those targeting young people – 40% of millennials say they used a mobile to research their last purchase. So you’ll be pleased to hear that research revealed in MetrixLab’s new white paper Ads: Mobile vs Desktop shows mobile banner ads doing a better job than banners viewed on desktop or laptop screens when it comes to ad recognition and message recall.

This may be a result of the inherent immediacy and intimacy of the mobile experience, or it may just be because mobile ads take up relatively more of your mobile device’s screen than an ad on a desktop or laptop computer. Whatever the cause, there’s clearly potential there.

But when we look beyond consumers’ ability to remember ads and notice what they’re for, mobile banners don’t do quite so well. When it comes to branding, likeability, credibility, ease of understanding and impact on purchase intent, mobile banners perform less well than desktop banners (which, let’s face it, never performed all that well in the first place). Clearly, advertisers still have plenty to learn about how to make the most of this relatively young format.

We believe that one of the issues is that ad creative hasn’t been properly optimized for the world of mobile, where screens are small and time is short. Based on our research, our advice is to make sure you make the best use of the screen space you have, so that your brand and product are recognizable. This means fewer words and bigger logos and pictures. Messages must be short and clear, and visual branding must be strong.

We already knew that the potential for mobile advertising is huge. Our research underlines how important it is to get those ads right.

To find out more, download the MetrixLab white paper Ads: Mobile vs Desktop

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