- Mobile ads get the most attention while viewers also are watching TV, making those times a key period to reach smartphone users. More than half (59%) of U.S. adults said they were receptive to mobile ads while watching TV, ahead of activities like lying in bed before sleep (51%), eating a meal (36%), shopping (25%) or running errands, per a survey by mobile ad platform Aki Technologies shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Established brands may have an advantage in mobile advertising with 54% of U.S. adults saying brand familiarity is the top reason to pay attention to an ad seen on a smartphone, ahead of interesting creative (52%), good timing (41%) and brand coupons (41%). Consumers are less inclined to pay attention to mobile ads while on-the-go. Brand familiarity is still the top reason to pay attention to a mobile ad while on-the-go at 38%, followed by interesting creative (35%), good timing (34%) and brand coupons (30%).
- Aki also found that mobile ad receptivity varied by activity. Millennials showed the greatest receptivity to mobile ads while shopping at 39%, compared with 27% of Generation X, 25% of Generation Z and 15% of baby boomers. Generation Z paid the most attention to mobile ads before going to bed at 73%, ahead of millennials at 63%, Gen X at 51% and boomers at 40%.
Aki's research suggests how mobile marketers can develop media strategies that reach viewers when they're most receptive to an ad, such as while watching TV, eating a meal or getting ready for bed. Ad recall was highest during these activities among all generations, especially while watching TV. That finding suggests that "second screening," or watching TV while using a mobile device, doesn't affect receptivity to mobile ads. U.S. adults spent an average of three and a half hours a day on mobile devices last year, and that time is expected to surpass TV viewing sometime this year, according to eMarketer.
Aki also found that video ads on mobile devices get the most attention at bedtime compared with banners, with viewers being 64% more likely to watch at that time. While eating and watching TV also were good times to reach consumers with video ads, while mobile users were least likely to watch video ads while running errands, working and shopping. Because viewers are more likely to watch a mobile video ad when they have the time sit through a longer sales pitch, brands should focus their mobile video ads for dayparts that have higher engagement, like evening TV viewing and bedtime.
Aki’s findings support the idea that viewers are much more likely to follow up on a TV ad when using a phone or tablet at the same time. Second screening improves the viewer's chances of following up on an ad by 75%, significantly improving its effectiveness, according to a study by media agency MediaCom and technology company ViewersLogic. People who saw ads while second screening were observed as being more "brand aware," with a difference of 12 percentage points between those who were second screening during ad exposure and those who weren't.
Mobile ads also are quick to generate an emotional response, a separate study by brain researcher Neurons for the Mobile Marketing Association found. Mobile ads start triggering an emotional response in consumers in less than half a second, pointing to how brands must develop a "one-second strategy" for their creative and media-buying efforts. The most common strategies of getting people's attention include displaying initial images of human faces looking directly at the camera or the product, using contrasting colors to make an image pop, showing strong emotions and delivering more complex or more simple compositions than surrounding news feeds.
Aki's study comes amid a surge in mobile advertising. Spending on mobile ads is set to make up 43% of the total U.S. ad market by 2020, exceeding total spending on all traditional media, eMarketer forecasts. Mobile last year accounted for $76.17 billion of ad spending to surpass TV's $69.87 billion, print's $18.74 billion, radio's $14.41 billion and out-of-home's $8.08 billion. Mobile ad spending will continue to grow to $141.36 billion in 2022, more than double that of TV at $68.13 billion, per eMarketer.