- AdColony, the biggest independent mobile ad platform with about $500 million in sales last year, today introduced an interactive mobile video technology, Aurora HD Video. The immersive video format lets marketers create ads that smartphone users can interact with via touch, tap, tilt or swipe on a running video, according to a press release.
- Disney, Buffalo Wild Wings and Genesis Motors are the first major brands to run campaigns in the mobile video format. Those campaigns will appear in various markets worldwide.
- AdColony’s Aurora uses WebGL graphic technologies to give marketers capabilities that are usually only possible in motion pictures and gaming design. Those graphics include custom particle effects, textures and lighting that look more realistic.
The first campaign to leverage AdColony's new format is for Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. As a preview of the film plays, viewers can go on a “treasure hunt” to find and tap items on a mobile screen. They're rewarded with exclusive video content from the film. An upcoming campaign for restaurant chain Buffalo Wild Wings shows a video of its popular “Foodoo” doll that consumers try to catch. Genesis Motors’ playable ad lets viewers engage with demonstrations of its line of vehicles and see them in motion.
AdColony imagines some of the ways brands could use the new format to include enabling viewers to tap to add items to a shopping cart, swipe to make content switch from day to night or rain to shine or to switch between concurrently running videos.
The format could appeal to brands looking for more interactive experiences as they try to tell more immersive stories. Last month, AdColony published a study that found 71% of advertisers find playable ads to be effective at engaging with audiences. Forty-five percent of marketers said playable ads were what they are most excited about this year.
Playable ads are similar to video in that advertisers can leverage sight, sound and motion, but with a higher level of interactivity. This format is seeing healthy growth from year to year. In 2016, an AdColony survey showed that playables make up 2% of total ad spend. That number rose to 4% this year. Advertisers should keep in mind that, like all channels and platforms, playable video ads come with drawbacks. Not all platforms support this type of ad yet, which could at least partially explain why the tool isn’t scaling quite as quickly as some might’ve hoped. Though full-screen video ads are found to be the most effective, some users might find the screen-consuming popup annoying or intrusive.