Nissan Canada has joined forces with Juice Mobile and Optimum Media Direction on an interactive advertising unit for Nissan’s 2015 Nissan Micra that blends images, copy, video and animation with native scrolling features to enhance the interactivity.
Scrolling up with a finger causes the smartphone image of the all-new Micra sedan to revolve, lines of copy to slide by and videos to rise and align themselves horizontally. The unit points to an increased emphasis on designing content that can allow users to interact with the ad.
“This unit takes the mobile devices utility to the next level,” said Neil Sweeney, president and CEO of Toronto-based Juice Mobile. “On a smartphone, you use your finger to scroll vertically on the screen and content appears horizontally just like on a desktop.
“This new unit leverages this scrolling capability in the mobile environment by letting the user take control of the creative. As a user scrolls through the unit, rich media, animation and other captivating content is synchronized with every interaction to create an immersive experience."
The ad starts with a screen that is blank except for the Nissan logo and a headline announcing the all-new Nissan Micra. Scrolling up with a finger pulls up an image of the car, followed by the entrance from the left of a headline: "Great car. Shocking value."
Scrolling continues to bring on headlines crawling to the right as separate images show the car from different angles. Scrolling also pulls up videos which then align themselves horizontally. (The videos couldn’t be opened in an examination of the ad. Juice Mobile did not respond to a request for an explanation.)
Experts have argued that as people increasingly use mobile to access the Internet, mobile ads need to become more responsive to users’ needs to attract attention and build engagement. That is particularly the case for millennials, who tend to be more active on mobile and grew up using smartphones.
“Nissan understands the opportunity that the mobile channel presents, and delivering messaging and unique experiences that serve that opportunity is critically important,” said Didier Marsaud, Nissan Canada senior manager of communications.
“There’s no reason that mobile advertising shouldn’t make use of all the functionality of today’s technology, and many mobile ads are simple extensions of standard desktop display units,” he said. “Nissan knows that more can be done, and this ad is a great example of that.”
“Brands want to create a rich and immersive customer engagement that is more pro-active to customer needs,” said Sheryl Kingstone, research director for Boston-based Yankee Group.
“As more mobile moments prove out their success, we will see the shift in dollars away from traditional digital channels to increased mobile ad spend,” she said.
“The issue with rich media is doing it correctly will take some learning since agencies aren't necessarily experienced with the new form factor. There are not only device challenges, but also network challenges.”
How Nissan ad appears on a smartphone
The ad is Nissan’s latest foray into the mobile space. Reflecting how car companies are trying to let in new thinking and engage more directly with the public, the Japanese automaker early this month invited Facebook fans to choose the design for a truck that will carry two Wounded Warrior Project Alumni through the Alaskan wilderness in an adventure to be chronicled on YouTube (see story).
Accustomed to swiping
Keith Robinson, head of M2M, IoT and connected devices at Compass Intelligence, called the ad’s interactive scroll very effective.
“It basically uses what people have come accustomed to using with their mobile devices in terms of swiping,” he said. “It also allows the user to move through the ad very quickly and control the video or skip to another video.”
The addition of video and animation captures the attention of the user and the marketing message resonates better because the user can see a product in use, Mr. Robinson said.
Besides providing users with an engaging experience because the format perfectly fits a mobile device, the platform will also keep users on the Web site much longer, he said.
Consumers are seen probing much more because the interactive scroll is simple to use.
“The impact is very powerful,” Mr. Robinson said. “This approach is future-proofing marketers because location based marketing tools on mobile devices are expected to be a hot area in the future and this platform provides a great interface for the user experience.”
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily, New York.