How Sensor-Enabled Ads Will Change Mobile Advertising

Nils Forsblom
Nils Forsblom wrote this on

How Sensor-Enabled Ads Will Change Mobile Advertising

When it comes to mobile advertising, not a whole lot new has happened in the last five to 10 years. Banner ads and standard full-page interstitials still reign, despite the fact they do little more than disrupt the user experience and leave people feeling annoyed.

The problem is, most of these ads were originally designed for the desktop. They don’t translate well to mobile. Banner ads become smaller and too easy to inadvertently click on. And people resent having their mobile browsers hijacked and taken over by ads.

Next year, mobile ad spend will top $100 billion, according to predictions by eMarketer. If companies want to grab people’s attention in a positive way, they will need mobile ads that offer a uniquely mobile experience. One way to create this type of ad is to tap into the innate intelligence already in most smartphones today.

What Your Phone Knows

Your phone already knows how you are holding it and where you are headed, in what direction and how fast. Your phone even knows when you are holding it up to your face to take a call. This awareness, and more, comes from sensors inside the phone.

Most modern phones are packed with dozens of tiny sensors. The sensors we hear about most include the accelerometer for detecting movement and orientation, the gyroscope for measuring rotation around three axes, a compass to detect magnetic north and a GPS to plot your position on a map. Together, these sensors open the door to a new, refreshing type of mobile advertising.

Ads That Take Two to Tango

you look at what people do on their phones, aside from email and texting, they spend a huge amount of time on apps. People love their mobile apps. They value them for their entertainment and utility. Apps are also seen as nonintrusive. So why not create ads that behave more like apps? If you look at what people do on their phones, aside from email and texting, they spend a huge amount of time on apps. People love their mobile apps. They value them for their entertainment and utility. Apps are also seen as nonintrusive. So why not create ads that behave more like apps?

That is the idea, at least, behind sensor-enabled motion ads. By tapping into the data from smartphone sensors, creating well-defined algorithms, motion ads can engage users in a whole different way. You will be asked to twist, tilt, bend, push, pull, shake, rotate or otherwise play with an ad.

Take for example, a motion ad with an image of a milkshake. The ad is minimalistic and visually beautiful. It asks you to shake your phone to blend your own milkshake. When you do, you get a coupon for the milkshake, which, by the way, you can redeem at the restaurant directly around the corner from where you are standing.

An airline is offering specials on flights from a nearby airport. By rotating your phone left or right, you can view the offers: one to Las Vegas, one to Hawaii and so on. If you see an offer you like, you can tap on it and download a coupon onto Apple Passbook or Google Wallet for purchase immediately or later when you get home.

The key to getting motion ads right is simplicity. A good design speaks for itself. Motion ads also offer a clear value exchange. Instead of having you click through to another website where you have to find the product and put it in a shopping cart, motion ads take care of everything for you in as few steps as possible.

Overcoming the Hurdles

As you might expect, creating motion ads comes with its own set of challenges. Ensuring a completely natural and intuitive experience requires some technical heavy-lifting. For instance, the ad needs to respond to user feedback in real-time. This requires sophisticated machine-learning algorithms that can recognize different types of motion and respond appropriately. Another challenge is creating these complex ads on the fly.

Additionally, so that Motion Ads work on iOS, Android and whatever else is out there, they have to be platform-agnostic. They also have to display on any type of a device or a screen size. To accomplish all of this, ads have to be coded in open source languages (CSS, HTML and JavaScript) and presented in WebViews.

As the world transitions to mobile only, marketers need a new type of premium programmatic mobile ad, one that contributes to positive brand experiences. These capabilities are all available today, as we’ve figured out here at Adtile. It’s now up to marketers to start taking advantage of the new opportunities available in mobile to create ads that establish real human connections because they were designed specifically with mobile in mind.

This article was originally published on AdAge →
Nils Forsblom

About the Author

Nils is the CEO & Founder of Adtile. You can reach him at nils@adtile.me.

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