- In-game banner ads are highly visible to mobile viewers, but very few people remember those ads. While banner ads that appear on the bottom of a smartphone screen are viewable 90% of the time to mobile gamers, recall rates were only 11% as those audiences spent 1.5% of their time looking at the ads, per a study that mobile ad firm Kargo shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Instagram ads were more effective than in-game ads, having an estimated viewability of about 50% and recall of 20% even though each ad was seen only 1.9% of the time during a user session. Instagram ads were 8.3 times more effective than gaming and 5.4 times more than desktop, with 77% of study participants looking at an ad during a user session, per Kargo.
- Desktop banners were viewable 80% of the time, but viewers only looked at ads 1.9% of the time and recall was the lowest of any ad format at 3%, Kargo found. The company worked with Tobii Pro Insight to track the eye movements of consumers who were shown ads on the mobile web, mobile games, desktop and Instagram.
Kargo's study found that better ad viewability doesn't necessarily translate into higher recall rates, and that mobile marketers need to consider other factors such as the ad platform, format, size and creative in developing a mobile ad strategy. Larger ad formats may be less visible on smaller smartphone screens as mobile users swipe past them, but they tended to show higher effectiveness in boosting recall, as seen with Instagram and Kargo's in-article ad format.
In-game banners tend to take up a tiny slice of a smartphone screen, making them easy to ignore as people play mobile games. That finding suggests that game developers that seek to monetize their audiences need to develop more ad formats, such as rewarded video or native ads that appear within a game, to be more effective. Gamers are amenable to sponsored video game content, according to a Hub Entertainment Research study that found 46% of all gamers had played games with sponsored content. Sixty-one percent who have played games with sponsored content said it made the game more fun, and only 23% said the ads made it less enjoyable.
"Thumb-stopping" creative is a necessary component of mobile ads in generating greater awareness and recall, and Kargo recommends that marketers consider animated and video ads that score higher among creative metrics. The greater effectiveness of video is helping to drive growth of the format on social media, a separate study found. Facebook advertisers increased their video media budgets 24% in Q3 from a year earlier, the third straight quarter that video spend more than doubled image ad spend, per a study by ad platform Nanigans of its clients. In the U.S., mobile video ad spending is forecast to jump 56% to $24.8 billion by 2022 from $15.9 billion this year, according to researcher eMarketer.