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Top 10 mobile ads of Q2

With consumers increasingly expecting mobile ad experiences that make engagement worthwhile, brands including Chevrolet and Unilever are upping the ante with impactful advertising initiatives, such as inviting users to take personality quizzes and implementing AI-powered voice interactions.

Employing stationary banner ads can no longer be a go-to strategy for advertisers seeking to foster one-to-one engagement among time-strapped consumers. Mobile users are now accustomed to seeing full-screen ad units with interactive features, such as calls-to-action to take branded quizzes, view 360-degree videos and leverage AI-powered voice and text capabilities.

The focus was on innovative promotional methods this past quarter, with brands such as Chevrolet, Jeep and Ice Breakers employing eye-catching advertisements within social media networks. Marketers will need to continue evolving their efforts to better meet customer demands and win out among the plethora of other brands competing to capture smartphone users? fleeting attention with relevant content.

Here are the top 10 mobile ads of 2016?s second quarter, in alphabetical order.

Alex and Ani unclasps omnichannel Mother?s Day push on Instagram
Jewelry retailer Alex and Ani recently made a strong omnichannel push for sales with ads on Facebook and Instagram promoting an in-store gift-with-purchase offer and showing a Mother?s Day-themed video alongside a button that enabled users to click through to access a store locator.

The brand attempted to maximize Mother?s Day sales by alerting shoppers to the fact that they could receive a free charm with each necklace purchase and by giving them gift ideas prior to the holiday.

Individuals on the lookout for gift ideas are typically more receptive to mobile ads and purchase incentives ? if they contain relevant content. Alex and Ani was able to ensure its social media advertisements filled a void for the slew of last-minute present shoppers needing a nudge to buy the right gift for their mothers.

Chevrolet revs up mobile gamification in millennial-friendly strategy
Chevrolet targeted younger fans via sponsored Twitter ads that brought users to a microsite featuring a mobile-optimized quiz, which players could take to discover the compact vehicle best suited to their personalities.

The car manufacturer ramped up awareness for its new line of compact vehicles by encouraging consumers to ?forget soulmates? and take the quiz to identify their best smallmate, referring to Chevrolet?s Trax, Spark and Sonic models.

The five-question quiz measured how users would respond to specific driving scenarios before showcasing the result and enabling players to see a photo of their ideal car, read its description, and learn more on Chevrolet?s mobile site or retake the quiz for a different result.

Draper James combines coupon codes and video for Timehop ad campaign
Apparel and accessories retailer Draper James rang in its first birthday by snagging a spot as an early advertiser on the Timehop app and including a link to purchase alongside a discount code.

The mobile ad displayed a native link that enabled users to browse and buy products from Draper James? Web site, and take advantage of a coupon for free shipping. The ad also included a welcome video from its founder, actress Reese Witherspoon, which showed her turning away cakes not big enough for the celebration until musicians appeared with a larger cake and sparklers.

Establishing an early presence on up-and-coming social media apps, such as Timehop, is a paramount strategy for marketers, especially when used in conjunction with an enticing discount.

Express, Lexus seek bigger results from less-intrusive Pandora ads
Express and Lexus are both beta testing muted mobile video ads, as well as a new native mobile display canvas on Pandora, that seek to deliver enhanced ad experiences for listeners while enabling brands to look beyond impressions when it comes to measuring campaign efficacy.

Whereas previously, Pandora ads would show up as overlays blocking album art, the new display ads switch places with the cover visual, which shrinks and moves to the bottom of the screen during an ad?s run time.

Video ads have also received an update, with marketers now able to roll out video ads on mute. Pandora listeners can view a muted clip while their current song plays in the background, and may tap on a video to un-mute it and let it take over the full screen.

Hong Kong Airlines upgrades mobile ads with 360-degree virtual cabin walkthroughs
Hong Kong Airlines is employing a new type of mobile ad format that promotes upgraded flight seats via 360-degree videos allowing viewers to explore a business class cabin and picture themselves enjoying premium travel.

The ads initially appear as banner ads on mobile sites. Targeted individuals in the Asia Pacific region may tap on the ad to expand the 360-degree video and virtually walk through the cabin by tilting and rotating their smartphones.

Consumers that choose to interact with the unit will be able to more accurately picture themselves traveling in the luxurious cabin, which could encourage them to upgrade their seats to a business-class ticket the next time they have a trip scheduled.

Ice Breakers attempts social media magic with individualized pushes, video
Earlier this quarter, Ice Breakers tapped Twitter?s First View, sponsored Instagram content and a dedicated Tumblr page to pair up its branded content with television spots in a bid to scale up audience outreach on National Unicorn Day.

On April 9, a music video featuring the campaign's anthem was rolled out on Twitter?s First View, the social network?s prime spot for advertising. The video displayed a unicorn with blue spots embodying the Ice Breakers brand, while an auto-tuned song played and declared the mythical creature, ?the unicorn of your confidence.?

The ad was accompanied by the sponsored hashtag #UnicornMoments, which aimed to convince users to join the fun by sharing their most confident moments on Twitter.

Jeep drives interactive mobile video views through optimized banner ads
Jeep recently garnered a 43-second average in-view time by combining an optimized banner ad with interactive mobile video in a choose-your-own story unit. The campaign grabbed 30 percent of impressions with a view-time of more than one minute by bringing interested users to a dedicated campaign site featuring the interactive mobile video.

The video paired Jeep?s promotional material with content from blockbuster film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Viewers were asked to join the storyline by selecting which Jeep Renegade vehicle they wanted to travel in for the duration of the video, with the black representing the Caped Crusader and blue representing the Man of Steel. Players were then tasked with completing actions such as navigating through rocky terrain.

Me Before You books ticket sales on Instagram through direct purchase
Warner Bros. ushered in ticket sales for romantic drama Me Before You through a native in-ad purchasing experience on Instagram that combined trailer footage with users? local show times for maximum impact.

The sponsored post allowed users to view the shortened trailer with the sound enabled or disabled, and tap the Book Now button to visit the Warner Bros. dedicated site, where they could view nearby show times based on their location.

Based on consumers? preferences and theater availability, individuals could buy movie tickets directly from Fandango, or Regal Cinema?s Web site. Each nearby theater was listed in order of distance, alongside three tabs corresponding to each ticket-purchasing platform.

Tesco Mobile fuels mobile ad interaction with phone-bill discounts
Tesco Mobile is incentivizing individuals to interact with branded ads on their smartphones by reducing monthly phone bill costs in exchange for viewing exclusive promotions, shedding light on a new business model for telecommunications companies.

British residents can download the Tesco Mobile Xtras app to get served with a plethora of geo-targeted mobile ads, discounts and offers from marketers including Doritos, McDonald?s, British Airways and Branston.

Users can interact further with the ads or disengage by tapping the X in the corner. Tesco Mobile customers will receive $4.35 ? or £3 ? off their monthly phone bill if they choose to interact with the ads.

Unilever, Campbell Soup humanize mobile ads with AI-powered voice interactions
The Weather Company is propelling artificial intelligence into mobile advertising by allowing marketers including Unilever and Campbell Soup Company to take advantage of its dynamic Watson Ads unit, which lets mobile users pose questions about featured products via voice or text.

Watson Ads enable consumers to receive a better understanding of promoted items. If, for instance, a potential customer is undecided about whether to purchase a new type of hair serum from one of Unilever?s brands, asking the ad unit relevant questions could help sway him or her to a positive outcome.

Campbell Soup Company, GSK Consumer Healthcare and Unilever are the first brands leveraging this new wave of cognitive advertising.