Digital advertising thoughts from the minds at MediaNet

As audiences incorporate more multi-screen and mobile device-based consumption into their daily routines, marketers must tackle the challenge of how best to approach those on-the-go and fragmented experiences.

We sat down with our Lead Digital Producer, Jawad Shahid, to get his take on the nuances worth considering alongside the creative planning effort for any mobile or cross-screen initiative.

What is the most critical input to the design process for a mobile campaign?
We believe that successful mobile design begins with consideration for the context of mobile media consumption and an acknowledgement that users on mobile devices are absorbing information in vastly different ways than they are in desktop environments. The two primary considerations we factor into planning are the user’s physical environment and the device environment.

  1. Physical environment: consider and account for the impact of user frame-of-mind: mobile users may be engaged in any number of settings and activities, for example conducting a price comparison while shopping in a store, checking the weather before heading out for the day, browsing news headlines in a cab, or casually surfing the Web while sitting on the couch with the TV on.
  2. User experience: consider and account for the impact of user experience: smartphone users are consuming media on a relatively small screen; and user interaction on mobile devices is fundamentally different – taps/swipes –  than it is in desktop environments.

We approach every project by considering fundamental questions like: Are actions on the ad easy (and intuitive) to take on a smaller screen? Is the information easy to read? Is the environment better for branding or for generating a response, and has that element been factored into the design?

What is the biggest design challenge you face when it comes to creating mobile ads (vs. desktop)?
Desktop campaigns offer a much larger canvas with ample room for text, images and buttons, and generally more design flexibility. The standard size of a mobile ad unit starts at 300×50 pixels (just about the height of a fingertip), which is a considerably smaller footprint within which to work. To adapt any desktop campaign to mobile, text and images need to be limited – pared back to the bare essentials. Mobile users are often on-the-go, meaning marketers have a short frame-of-time (1-2s) to make an impression. We encourage keeping calls-to-action bold, actionable and concise, and ensuring the brand logo is prominently displayed at all times.

What’s the most unique opportunity in working with mobile?
Mobile has entered an exciting chapter. We’ve moved beyond the static banner – often a shrunken version of the corresponding desktop ad – and into a world of rich media possibilities that can be deployed on virtually any device. HTML5 provides a breadth of options that both overcome and celebrate the unique aspects of the mobile environment including expandable ads that can become full-screen environments, and fluid interactive elements that intuitively invite users to ‘swipe’ through a visual carousel of information. Mobile has grown into a dynamic and possibility-rich medium, and our entire team can’t wait to concept, test and deploy new feature developments as they roll-out.

Want to learn more about activating HTML5 ads on your next digital initiative? Connect with the studio team at MediaNet here.