Adaptable Mobile Ads Six Times More Popular Than Standard Sizes

by Jessica Ramesh Exponential

When it comes to mobile ads, advertisers are six times more likely to choose ad formats that automatically adapt to the size of the screen rather than standard industry sizes, according to new data from Appsnack, the mobile advertising specialist owned by Exponential Interactive

A global analysis of mobile ad campaigns run by Appsnack in Q1 2013, showed that 86 per cent of ad impressions across mobile and tablets were accounted for by the ‘Snackbar’ format – which automatically formats itself to 10 per cent of the screen’s size – compared to 14 per cent for standard IAB units, which do not.

Although the automatic ‘Snackbar’ format accounted for 86 per cent of ad views, it accounted for 96 per cent of clicks (see chart). Conversely, standard ad units accounted for just four per cent of clicks despite accounting for 14 per cent of ads viewed. Thus, when it comes to mobile devices, people are almost four times more likely to click on a Snackbar ad (2.5 per cent) than a standard industry ad (0.6 per cent).


E.g. in Q1 2013 86 per cent of ads viewed on mobile/tablets were those automatically adjusting to the screen size

Tablet versus smartphone ad behaviour

Tablet users are 24 per cent more likely than smartphone users to click on automatically adapting ‘Snackbar’ ads – the tablet click-through rate being 2.75 per cent compared to 2.22 per cent for smartphones. This could potentially be because the ‘lean-back’ nature of tablet usage – being a more conducive device for general browsing, shopping and purchasing than the smartphone.

However on expanding formats, smartphone users are 26 per cent more likely to activate these types of ads to full size than tablet users (3.28 per cent doing so versus 2.61 per cent). This is partly due to phones having smaller screens but also due to the brief, precise and direct messaging that consumers are looking for whilst on the move.

Niki Stoker, Exponential UK managing director, said: “Advertisers are increasingly moving to mobile ads that can automatically adapt to whatever screen size a person is using. Not only are the click-through rates higher, they are the only ad to appear on a page so the advertiser gets a higher share of voice. In turn, ad wastage is reduced for publishers.

“We are just beginning to define what ‘success’ means in a mobile campaign. These results indicate the industry should be shifting focus more towards brand awareness campaigns as the technology behind mobile ads improves to boost impressions, consumer engagement and, ultimately, brand value.”

The analysis also revealed that when it comes to rich media, small sizes reign supreme – the 300 x 250 ad format induced the highest number of clicks. However, for non-expanding units, the bigger the banner, the better – the 728 x 90 size inducing the most clicks.