Tapping Into New Smartphone Advertising Functions

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Today’s consumers are smartphone savvy, and are already familiar with many different forms of mobile advertising. Tapping, swiping and pinching to view content and absorb information are already well-known, but there are far more creative ways to promote brands on mobile devices.

Chiefly, advertisers should start to make more use of native mobile functions, taking advantage of smartphone sensors to create more participatory experiences for consumers. With users controlling the experience through their own actions, they can better connect with a brand and enjoy the interaction that much more. This in turn leads to greater results for brands; figures from Sizmek show that these kinds of adverts can deliver seven times higher click-through rates compared to mobile expandable banners.

It’s time to think outside the box and ask how we can best interact with consumers through their favourite devices. Below are three smartphone functions that offer significant opportunities for advertisers looking to cut through the digital noise:

Tilting into action – Accelerometers inside smartphones can sense user movement and acceleration – they measure how far a device is tilting or being moved, as well as whether the phone is either in portrait or landscape position. Mobile games have utilised this technology for some time now, but advertisers could also benefit from this function. It’s already used in 360° adverts, allowing users to tilt their devices to explore a scene around them. This can be effective in many different situations, whether it’s a promotional concert or the interior of a brand-new car as Undertone has done for Jaguar and Mercedes Benz.

Advertisements using accelerometers create entertaining experiences for consumers, giving them a compelling reason to connect with a brand. This technology could still be explored further – imagine interacting with an American football game in the midst of the Super Bowl season, tilting the device to score a touchdown.

Shake interactions – A phone’s ability to detect acceleration can be used in more ways one. Tilting to explore a product or scene is one thing, but shaking a device can prove a much more tactile experience. It can also be much more engaging, providing an opportunity to surprise the consumer with a new message, image or video after shaking.

We used this technology in an ad for VitaCoco, allowing users to shake their device to reveal new life hacks, in addition to promoting The X-Files with an interactive magic 8-ball.

Drawing users in – Touchscreens were made for more than just tapping and swiping. With multi-touch sensors and sophisticated creative tools available on nearly every device, brands can invite users to become part of the creative process by allowing them to draw their own images as part of a mobile ad. This capability is perhaps the most engaging of those covered here, inviting a user to put their own stamp on a brand experience.

We worked with Lancôme on a touching mobile ad, requesting users draw a heart on their screens in the company’s lip gloss to unlock special content. This technique is high impact, with consumers being entertained and thoroughly engaged in a brand’s message and campaign.

Smartphones present an entirely new canvas for advertisers to unleash their creativity. Through formats that leverage a smartphone’s native functions, they can be far more personal than traditional desktop adverts since the ad is literally in the palm of your hand. Brands can therefore combine technology and creativity to craft a personal experience consumers won’t forget.

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