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Yahoo exec: Focus on mobile moments versus engagement

NEW YORK ? A Yahoo executive at the 2014 MMA Forum said that marketers need to run advertising campaigns that focus more on finding contextually-relevant moments to target consumers instead of relying on social media for engagement.

The Yahoo executive?s opening remarks at the conference highlighted photography as a key area of investment in mobile advertising. Additionally, the session presented a look at some of Yahoo?s newer mobile ad formats.

?The bottom line is that there is also this idea that for this group, moments still matter, and I think there?s a tendency in marketing today to overdo engagement,? said Patrick Albano, vice president of social, mobile and innovation sales at Yahoo, Sunnyvale, CA.

?To throw hashtags, ten hashtags on something, and you just want to make sure that you still create moments with consumers because moments still matter and people still want to remember things,? he said.

Photo-based culture
At the same time that consumers now own more devices that serve as storage for all parts of life, consumers are also more afraid of missing out.

Mr. Albano cited research finding that four out of five people say that their life is moving so fast nowadays that they often forget important parts of the day.

Additionally, photography has become a culture where consumers are constantly sharing images with their friends and family members.

Yahoo ran an experiment that looked at how consumers remembered a certain event by showing them a video. One group of consumers took a photograph of the video while the other relied solely on memory to recall the scene.

Afterwards, participants took a quiz that asked them questions about what they remember.

The consumers who took a photo and watched a video enjoyed the moment 57 percent more than the group who did not take a photo.

The photo-snapping consumers also remembered more of the factual information about the scene during the quiz. 

?It?s this idea that we are starting to outsource memory to our devices and to photos as a critical thing in our lives,? Mr. Albano said.

?The more we get used to using our devices ? similar to the way we got more aware to using the written language ? we will become experts at this idea, and you will start to use photos and other things in your device to manage different parts of your memory,? he said.

Moving towards visual-based ads
Mr. Albano also discussed several new visual-heavy ad products that brands including Kraft and Fiat are using.

Fiat is leveraging full-page ads within photo galleries that is directly integrated into a piece of content.

Kraft ran a very different type of campaign that uses an ad format called Motion Ads with a simple image of a grilled cheese sandwich with a line of steam that moves across the screen.

Brands are also stepping up their photo initiatives in their own social media properties.

For example, Delta Airlines showcases pictures of things that consumers associate the brand and traveling with. For example, Delta posted a picture of a can of SweetWater beer, which the company has a partnership with.

?We?ve kind of in a way used our phones now as a portable hard drive for our memory,? Mr. Albano said. ?We store all of the things in our phones that we want to remember, and that?s a critical part not only in how we do business, but also how we live our lives.?