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Published October 2014

Last week, we talked about how creative strategies support the media buy in successful campaigns. Without ad creative that is engaging and relevant to people, a campaign will fall short of its advertising goals. Further, with consumers spending much of their time on smartphones and tablets, these engaging and relevant experiences need to work across screens. 

Our third creative and media pairing focuses on creating successful cross-screen advertising: If your media agency is including mobile inventory in the media buy, your creative agency needs to build mobile-compatible creative to be served to those placements. The best way to build those ads is in HTML5, which allows you to provide the same interactive experiences for mobile as you do on desktop.

Did you know? There are more people in HTML5-compatible environments today than in Flash-compatible environments1 yet 84% of rich media ads are still built in Flash2

Here are four best practices for building cross-screen ads to pair with your mobile media buys:

Build in HTML5

Building mobile-compatible ads in HTML5 is getting much easier, as new tools come onto the scene to help expedite the transition from Flash. With our HTML5 and in-app layouts, advertisers can upload their existing creative assets and create multiple formats in minutes. For more custom HTML5 units, Google Web Designer provides a robust and intuitive suite of design and animation tools to allow for more creative flexibility.

Build for apps

80% of the time that people spend on their smartphones is spent within a mobile application3. Mobile web is very different from a mobile app, so what works on a website experience doesn’t necessarily work in a mobile application. Make sure to build ad creative that is designed for the app experience.

Use device form-factor

Desktops, smartphones and tablets all have different form-factors, or device-specific attributes and interaction modes. Smartphones and tablets have touch screens and accelerometers or motion sensors that sense movement and orientation of the device, while a laptop does not. Smartphones have much smaller screens, while tablets and desktops have larger, “lean-back” screens. Smartphones also have calling and texting capabilities. These are all opportunities for incorporating cool things about the device into your ad creative. 

For example Burberry took advantage of device form-factor in their Burberry Kisses campaign. This campaign captured the shape of someone’s lips, digitized it and put it onto a digital letter that could be emailed to a loved one. To provide the same experience on different devices, the designers had to be smart about form-factor. 

burberry

On desktop, they could use the video camera on the computer to capture a person’s lips. But smartphones and tablets don’t have a front-facing video camera that would work. Instead, the developers used the touch screen capabilities of these devices to allow people to kiss their screen. The device was able to understand the size and shape of the person’s lips via the touchscreen and digitize the image. This provided the same overarching brand experience for the user, but utilized a different way of executing it on different devices.

Use geo-location

Smartphones have the unique characteristic of traveling with us wherever we go. When a user opts to share their location information, the advertising they see has the opportunity to become more relevant to the physical world around them. Advertisers can send specific messages about their store or retail outlet to people who are traveling within a specified area around it.

By building HTML5 ads that work for apps, use device form factor, and provide geographically-relevant info, advertisers can ensure their ads reach consumers successfully on every device and environment. 

1) StatCounter
2) Internal DoubleClick Data, Sept. 2014
3) Flurry analytics, Apr. 2013

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