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R/GA exec: Web is last untapped portion of mobile

NEW YORK ? A R/GA executive at the 2013 IAB Mobile Marketplace said that as the mobile Web becomes richer and more advanced, there are lots of opportunities for marketers to leverage a device?s built-in browser.

During the ?Great Creative Always Wins? session, executives from R/GA, Ansible and zurvu spoke about the opportunities and challenges that brands have to create compelling ad creative on smaller-sized screens. The session was moderated by Peter Minnium, head of brand initiatives at IAB, New York.

?There are a lot of great applications out there, and a lot of great mobile ads as well, but I think there is this one space in mobile that is a little untapped, and I think things that are happening in the mobile browser are pretty exciting to me,? said Richard Ting, executive vice president and global executive creative director of mobile and social platforms at R/GA, New York.

?It?s that one last untapped portion of mobile that I feel is probably going to explode in the next year or two,? he said.

?We always have that conversation around should we do apps, should we do mobile Web sites? I?m not saying that everything is going to move towards mobile Web sites, but I do think that mobile Web sites will become better in terms of what they are capable of delivering to consumers.?

Web opportunities
As an example of a site that taps into interactive elements, Mr. Ting presented an app called Forecast iO, which is a browser-based weather app.

The app includes features such as page turning and animation ? both of which are features that are typically more associated with mobile apps rather than mobile Web.

Per Mr. Ting, a lot of the energy and focus in the mobile space is the past few years have been around native apps. However, there is still a big opportunity to leverage the mobile Web in unique ways.

For example, responsive design has taken off for marketers in the past year.

Even though there are some limitations with responsive design, the design technique shows how brands can create an environment that tells a story inside a mobile browser.

Advertisers always have to be thinking about the post-click experience and given the advancements in technology, brands and agencies should be pushing what is possible in the mobile browser.

Marketers are also increasingly thinking about mobile-first campaigns. However, strategy should still come first, per Mr. Ting.

?A lot of work we are doing these days is mobile-first, and that is in response to consumer behavior,? Mr. Ting said.

?I would say that yes, a lot of stuff is becoming mobile-first, but there are still some instances where we will get a brief in, and the response to take makes more sense as a desktop-only implementation, but increasingly we are seeing more mobile-first,? he said.

Mobile interaction
David Levin, founder/CEO of zurvu, also spoke on the panel about how marketers need to tap into the inherent aspects of mobile such as location and touch to create an effective campaign.

As long as the content is engaging and compelling to consumers, advertisers should use geo-targeting and interaction to bring an immersive experience to consumers on a smaller-sized screen.

Additionally, Mr. Levin highlighted a campaign from Toyota to promote its Prius line. The ad used snippets of video to create an experience that consumers found their own way through.

?There is an intimacy to the fact that you are touching the device, and the fact that content is much more accessible when you use your finger to engage with it,? Mr. Levin said.

?You have to think about all the features that phones offer," he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York