Hollister's playable ads grab elusive attention of teens
- Hollister, the teen apparel brand owned by Abercrombie & Fitch, is boosting engagement among its mobile audience with game-based ads that hold players’ attention for nearly a minute, more than double the average TV commercial, AdExchanger reported.
- TreSensa, an app marketing platform that develops interactive playable ads, helped the clothing brand create two kinds of games: a surfing theme last spring and a skateboarding theme launched in July as part of the brand’s back-to-school efforts. Players collect coins, avoid obstacles and power up with animated pairs of jeans, similar to popular games like "Subway Surfers."
- The skateboarding version of the ad still appears on Snapchat and within apps that use TreSensa’s programmatic bidding platform. The ads also let players sign up for Hollister's loyalty program or get a discount code, where users can click through to shop the brand's products online.
Gaming apps are one way to capture the attention span of teenagers, who are accustomed to rapidly swiping through mobile apps to scan messages. That means ads may be seen for just a few seconds, if at all. The Kellogg Company, Anheuser-Busch, Kraft, Sony Pictures and Mars Inc. are among the brands have tried the playable ad format, AdExchanger reported.
Hollister's games are designed with a retro, 16-bit style and are optimized for smartphones, which are frequently in the hands of the brand's Gen Z target group. According to Hollister, the strategy is working, as the games have so far generated more than eight years' worth of play time.
This year, Google began to encourage the development of playable game ads with the rollout of tools for Android programmers to make interactive ads that let users play a stripped-down version of a game before downloading it, TechCrunch reported. The technology includes an auto-flip feature that automatically orients ads to how users are holding their phone.
About 70% of advertisers say playable ads are effective, according to a May 2017 study from AdColony. While 45% of surveyed marketers said they were most excited about playable ads this year, only 4% of budgets are currently going to the format, despite the fact that 31% of advertisers have found meaningful effectiveness with playable ads.