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Johnson & Johnson leverages native ads on WebMD mobile site

Johnson & Johnson is offering coupons for a number of its brands to users of the mobile site for WebMD, which is ramping up its native ad offerings.

When users of the WebMD site click on a banner ad at the bottom of their screen, full-screen sponsored content appears that is swipable and can be easily closed to return to the original screen. Johnson & Johnson is sponsoring content related to healthy living that provides users with a way to access coupons for Benadryl, Sudafed, Aveeno, RoC and other brands.

?With advertisers increasingly turning to mobile platforms to engage today?s on-the-go consumers, brands are clamoring to create a ?native? approach to mobile ad delivery, but are struggling with the challenge of delivering the click throughs and measurable ROI to advertisers without disrupting the overall app experience,? said Todd Zander, vice president of mobile and emerging media at WebMD, New York.

?The strategy makes sense for WebMD as it allows us to offer advertisers a means to house their branded content within the app without disrupting that experience by forcing users to click-through to another screen and leave the app entirely,? he said.

?It also allows our partners? advertising creative and brand messaging to stand out without compromising the flow of trusted and credible medical information that consumers have come to rely on.?

Branded information

When users click on the banner for healthy living, they see a new screen where they can click for information on a variety of topics, including women?s health, healthy beauty, food and recipes, weight loss and fitness and exercise. The content is sponsored by Johnson & Johnson.

There are also several swipable slideshows, including one showcasing tips for flat abs.

As users continue to scroll down, a button appears that they can click on coupons and offers from Johnson & Johnson. This takes users off the site to the Johnson & Johnson Healthy Essentials site where they can sign up to receive coupons via email for a variety of Johnson & Johnson brands.

Native mobile advertising options for marketers have been growing as brands look to seamlessly integrate their messaging into smartphone experiences as opposed to running ads that take users to another app or mobile site.

To address the interest in native advertising, WebMD has created a fully integrated content platform that enables advertisers to house branded information within its recently redesigned iPhone app. As a result, users do not have to click through to another screen.

Snackable content
The WebMD iPhone app, which delivers information related to healthy living, physician-reviewed health content and interactive tools, has over 17.5 million downloads. The wellness information available in the app spans recipes, dieting tips, parenting, beauty as well as advice on sex and relationships.

The focus of the redesign is on delivering more personalized multimedia lifestyle content for on-the-go users who want short, quick-hit content on a broad range of topics.

Users will find a new interface where they can select topics to populate tips, fun facts, articles, videos and quizzes. Users can also find the closest physicians, hospitals and pharmacies by city, state or ZIP code and can filter their search by services such as ?open 24 hours/day.?

The app also features disease and treatment information on a broad array of topics.

?We designed the WebMD app be visually stimulating, including a rotating home screen, personalized healthy living content and medical tools,? Mr. Zander said.

?We wanted to make our content ?snackable? to cater to small screen and mobile behavior, while at the same time enabling advertisers to utilize our platform to place ads in numerous locations throughout the app in a contextually relevant way to preserve the continuity of the user experience,? he said.

?For instance, sponsored content can be placed within the rotating home screen, on banner ads throughout all tools and articles and across the full screen.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York