Why does one advert work so much better than the other? An open question that occupies the minds of advertisers the world over. At Emerce Digital Marketing Live! Nomkwazi Hooplot, managing director of Weborama Netherlands, accepted the challenge. His answer? Collaboration!
From Spiderman slinging his way across your screen to Sylvester Stallone blowing up your YouTube-recommendations: rich media advertising has a long list of creative successes that made an impact on audiences. Traditional rich media campaigns had very high interaction and click-through rates, though they were costly. Times have changed, however. The price of adverts may have gone down dramatically, but so have the opportunities for creative daring in rich media advertising.
The explanation is two-fold. On the one hand, the online ecosystem has changed dramatically since the early 2010’s. The dramatic expansion of smartphone use, the transition from Flash to HTML5 and the growth of ad networks and exchanges has led to a complex and fragmented online landscape, to the detriment of advertisers and publishers. Consumers are furthermore increasingly tied to closed systems such as Facebook or Instagram, which restrict the possibilities for creative advertising. On the other hand, the advertising world itself is also partially to blame for the current status quo. With an emphasis on performance, many advertisers put too much stock in simple, unobtrusive and even static images. Yet rich media advertising has so much more potential.
Thankfully, there is hope. We’ve signalled three important new trends in online advertising. Firstly, there’s an ongoing shift towards in-housing by advertisers. Companies increasingly develop, manage and execute their own advertising campaigns. Secondly, we’ve noticed a simplification of the advertising supply chain. The route from advertiser to consumer is shorter and more effective, with fewer and fewer middle men, particularly when compared to a few years back. This offers an advantage to both advertisers and publishers. Advertisers get more control over their investment, while publishers lose less money to third parties. Thirdly, there’s a broad shift in the advertising world from performance-based advertising to branding. The focus on branding isn’t just expressed in more creative and conceptually strong campaigns but also in a renewed sensitivity towards the precise context in which a given add is presented to the consumer.
Rich media advertising is ties in with all of these trends. In the right hands, a rich media campaign fits all four elements of the AIDA model: from Attention caused by its’ stopping power, through Interest and Desire because of initiated interactions and, of course, Action. Rich media campaigns are extremely suitable for branding because of the wealth of possibilities for stimulating interaction and engagement. An interesting proposition for companies who not only want to keep creative control of their campaigns, but are also interested in loading their brand with meaningful experiences. This manner of rich media advertising does require close cooperation between advertisers, publishers and technical parties such as Weborama. A condition made possible by the changes in the advertising supply chain.
The power of collaboration
At Weborama we support countless advertisers and their campaigns. We measure success on the basis of four key performance indicators: the click-through rate, viewability, engagement rate and interaction rate. It turns out that the differences in the impact of various campaigns can occasionally be staggering. Interestingly enough, the most important indicator of success is not so much the publishing platform or the advertiser, nor is it the colour of the advert or the chosen animation. Rather, the key to success is collaboration. The more intensive and frequent the collaboration between advertiser, publisher and Weborama, the bigger the impact of the advertising campaign.
The truth of this assertion was made clear by our recent Audi campaign. A technical party approached us with a fresh idea for a new kind of 3D banner. We introduced them to several of our automotive clients which led to an intensive collaboration between creative agency, the technical party and the advertisers. This project put the technical and conceptual foundations in place on which the Audi campaign was built. Regular banners were enhanced with 3D elements that responded to the cursor movements of users. To test the efficiency of the new banner, we also simultaneously ran a 2D banner. The results were noticeable. Where the 2D banner attracted 85.000 interactions, the 3D banners managed to attract 118.000 interactions; an uplift of 17,5%. The dwell time for the 3D banners was also 15% higher than their 2D counterparts. Little wonder then that the Audi campaign was awarded with a golden SpinAward last year.
A banner with 3D elements is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the many possibilities of rich media. That’s why we at Weborama want to collaborate more intensively with advertisers and publishers, with innovative campaigns that wed strong concepts to new technology. Thanks to rich media online advertising is heading for an exciting future. We’re ready. Are you?