The Scroller proving most popular mobile advertising format study claims

As mobile brand ad dollars follow consumer time spent to mobile, marketers are consistently experimenting with how to best engage with audiences on smaller screens, while not have their brands/messaging associated with an annoying experience.

The emerging mobile ad concept, the scroller, has increasingly been adopted by publishers and vendors alike and is set to become increasingly useful - particularly for content marketers as the scroller can run smoothly onto and off the screen as a user scrolls through an article - decreasing the tendency to block or overlook ads in the process.

The benefits of the scroller - particularly the ones tested in a recent IAB report is that when content is published, the scroller can actually be delivered as encrypted with ad-choices supported. The data points to new techniques and formats that show how this can be done, and the positive results for brand advertising on mobile.

As an in-feed unit, the ad does not block any underlying content, and the viewer has full control of scrolling the ad onto and off of the screen, so it is non-invasive. The study found that a scroller works very well in boosting brand awareness, with ad recall and purchase intent and outperforms the standard expandable banner in nearly every category. The scroller, according to the study, was also a hit with the audience and is considered less invasive than other ad placements, although it is just as expandable as the banner.

The study notes that the scroller boosted brand category awareness by almost 26 per cent (56 per cent vs. 30 per cent) and increased ad awareness by almost 10 per cent (46 per cent v. 37 per cent). The people who saw it were 17 per cent more likely to perceive it as "distinctive: 67 per cent v. 50 per cent) and they were also 13 per cent more likely to say they enjoyed the ad (45 per cent v. 32 per cent).

It was also noted that those using the scroller expressed positive feelings about how the ad revealed itself (relative to only 16 per cent who said the same for the standard expandable ad). The study also confirmed that the 'scroller' concept worked well for all but millennials in particular showed a strong response to the way the scroller revealed itself, with 44 per cent expressing positive feelings about it as compared to 31 per cent of those over 35 years old.

Both males and females showed statistically significant increases in aided category awareness. While women saw the larger brand increases, men were much more impressed with the scroller's look and feel than women were. Men were also more likely than women to respond positively to the way the ad revealed itself (44 per cent v. 26 per cent) through both men and women liked it better than an expandable banner.

The results demonstrate that one can create scalable ad experiences on smartphones that viewers find appealing. The scroller concept is one that can convey an ad message that breaks through while at the same time creates an enjoyable ad experience, particularly for the millennial and male audiences.

With the rise of ad blocking, the exploding of mobile ad inventory, the struggle to monetize mobile as effectively as desktop, mobile UX- all topics that are extremely pertinent for mobile publishers. Publishers need to balance latency, mobile user experience, consumer control and premium monetization to be successful, and the approach of inline/instream rendering of polite rich media placements is an excellent start.

"Digital visitors are devoting more of their time to mobile content and marketers are following those consumers to mobile with their branding efforts accordingly, but face challenges to have real message impact on smaller screens without annoying those they're trying hard to impress," said Daniel Meehan, ceo and founder of PadSquad. "Similarly, publishers now face a mobile-first market in which their advertising revenue success hinges on monetizing mobile traffic, again without annoying the users they try very hard to attract. We use technology to load ads quickly in a way that impresses the consumer. We have seen great results for marketers and publishers."

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Laurie Fullerton

Laurie Fullerton is a writer based in Boston, MA with a background in business, sports, community, medical and travel writing. She has been a newspaper editor in the Boston-area, a sports writer covering yacht racing and a community reporter. She has been reporting for The Drum since October 2015.

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