On Tuesday at Mobile World Congress 2016, the spotlight turned toward the bountiful array of new mobile advertising tools and technologies taking Barcelona by storm this year.
“As much limelight as device makers and telecoms get at Mobile World Congress, marketing and advertising are becoming focal areas, as well,” says Matt Asay of MMD.
According to Asay and other industry watchers, there’s a particularly strong emphasis on mobile video advertising this year, as evidenced by a flurry of announcements.
Teads, a monetization platform for publishers, returned to MWC this year to roll out an assortment of new ad formats to help publishers maximize revenue across all screens. But the most buzz-worthy offering from the company’s booth is the inRead Vertical.
The Teads team says that its inRead Vertical lets advertisers use the whole screen to project a personal, relevant yet fully skippable video message to the user.
“Video formats are quickly becoming commonplace on mobile, in particular native video solutions as a way to tell an endearing story from screen to screen,” says Teads Global Managing Director Todd Tran.
But with advertisers growing more sophisticated in their approach to reaching consumers, there isn’t nearly as much interest in ad formats as there is in cutting-edge ad technologies at the 2016 Congress, especially with regard to ad fraud prevention.
Mobileum came to MWC this year to showcase its Advertising Fraud Control solution that enables CSPs (Carrier Service Providers) to identify malicious websites and bots, for desktops and mobile, that participate in advertising fraud.
“These insights will help the advertisers block these frauds to derive better return per dollar invested,” the company said in announcing its presence in Barcelona.
Equally important, ironically enough, are ad blockers — of which there are plenty rolling out at MWC. And plenty of high-profile ad blocking alliances are also being forged.
Ahead of the convention kick-off, Three — the European mobile carrier — confirmed plans to announce its new partnership with ad blocking company Shine in Barcelona. The objective, the carrier’s top executives explain, is to give consumers more options with regard to blocking mobile ads.
“For publishers, this is a form of user feedback,” Asay argues. “Consumers are taking more ownership of their browsing experience and every ad blocker install is a vote for change. If bad ad experiences are causing users to flee, a good ad experience can help decelerate the trend.”
While there’s no shortage of new ad formats and ad blockers battling for headlines in Barcelona this week, there is only a handful of new ad technologies that are truly hastening the evolution of mobile advertising as well as its expansion into new markets.
VirtualSKY, for example, is showcasing just how engaging advertising in virtual reality can be. The new virtual reality mobile ad network was officially launched at MWC on Monday.
Created by Airpush, a Los Angeles-based mobile ad company, VirtualSKY has been well received by the MWC attendees who have tried an in-booth demo of the VirtualSKY platform using Samsung Gear VR headsets.
Cameron V. Peebles, Head of Global Marketing for VirtualSKY and Airpush, says that while everyone from Google to Facebook has generated opportunities for more widespread VR content development, we haven’t seen any real monetization or advertising capabilities. “VirtualSKY is the first platform to offer both of these,” Peebles says.
According to Chris Carmichael, the CEO of Ubiquity, virtual reality advertising could prove to be a large growth market.