Smartphone video is fastest growing online ad format


 Near half-billion £ rise on smartphone video ads as phones overtake computers for internet time 

 Advertisers spent £476 million more on smartphone video ads in 2017, making it the fastest-growing online ad format, according to the latest Digital Adspend report by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) UK and PwC.

This was a rise of 69% on 2016 and took total spend on the format to £1.17 billion. Video ad spend overall (including phones, computers and tablets) increased 47% to £1.61bn. Thus, 73% of all video spend now goes on smartphones.

Sky overtakes P&G as biggest traditional ad spender



Sky overtook Procter & Gamble as the biggest spender on traditional advertising in the UK in 2017, increasing year-on-year spend by 2.7% to £197.1m, reveals Nielsen data released today.
P&G’s spend dropped 1.4% versus 2016 to £196.8m, as did BT’s who retained third place despite a fall of 3.8% to £144.1m. 

Nielsen’s figures include the seven major traditional media formats but exclude internet advertising.


Tesco (up 71.6% to £89.5m) and Samsung (up 43.5% to £66.6m) had the largest annual increase among the top 100 spenders. Consequently they became new entrants to the top 10 – jumping 14 and 18 places, respectively – replacing Amazon (down 16.5%) and furniture retailer DfS (down 13.5%).


Waitrose, Confused.com and Google completed the top five in terms of the biggest percentage rise in traditional ad spend.


Biggest UK advertisers on traditional media

 


“It was quite a chalk and cheese year in terms of how the very biggest advertisers changed their emphasis on traditional advertising,” says Barney Farmer Nielsen’s UK commercial director. 

“Half spent more, half spent less, with the likes of Tesco and Samsung ramping up spend dramatically, in complete contrast to that of Virgin and Aldi. Of course, the differences are due to many factors including the competitive state of their sector, the changing allocation towards digital but also the wider uncertainty caused by Brexit. Thus, it's hard to pick out an overarching trend other than the advertising dominance of the home media/telecoms providers and household goods manufacturers.”

Aldi (down 32.0% or £22m) and Virgin Media (down 30.1% or £31m) had the biggest decline among the top 100 spenders. Overall, the Top 100 spent 3.5% less on traditional advertising in the UK than in 2016 but still accounted for 60% of spend, while the overall market fell by 2.5% or £258.1m.

Ad viewability hits record high .. Meetrics

Ad viewability hits record high


UK ad viewability levels have hit their highest level since records began back in the second quarter of 2014, according to the latest quarterly benchmark report from ad verification firm Meetrics. 

In the first quarter of 2018, the proportion of banner ads served that met minimum viewability guidelines rose from 56% to 59% – the first time levels have risen for four consecutive quarters.

"It’s the highest level since our records began and four straight quarters of growth is a reliable indication the industry’s efforts to tackle viewability are paying off,” said Max von Hilgers, Meetrics’ CEO and co-founder. “Alongside this, campaigns are increasingly being optimised towards viewability and we’ve seen a drop in the number of impressions. This suggests a move towards more careful placements – a case of quality over quantity, not something the industry has historically been renowned for but an encouraging sign for the future.”

Viewability  trend for UK display ads
 
However, despite the rise the UK still only ranks fifth among the seven other European countries in which Meetrics measures viewability. Austria (71%) leads the way while Switzerland is bottom (50%).

Banner ad viewability  by country
 

Ads are deemed viewable if they meet the IAB and Media Ratings Council’s recommendation that 50% of the ad is in view for at least one second. 

Only 5% think current digital ad research is adequate


 A "seal of approval" by independent industry body seen as best way to improve quality


Only 5% of media and advertising professionals believe commercial research studies on digital advertising are of a good enough quality.

The influence of the sales agenda of the company owning the research is seen as the biggest obstacle to producing good quality research – cited by 57% of the 220 industry professionals interviewed online by Inskin Media and Research Now SSI. Nearly one in four (23%) generally disregard commercial research projects as nothing but marketing/sales tools while 19% consider them largely useless due to quality issues.

Research agencies (scoring 4.0 out of 5) are regarded as producing the highest quality research, narrowly ahead of industry associations (3.9) and measurement/ad validation vendors (3.6). Media sellers (3.1) rank last in terms of the perceived quality of research.
 

Who produces highest quality research


“The industry has been deluged by studies on digital advertising over the last decade, most of which is used as a Trojan horse to promote a sales agenda,” said Steve Doyle, Inskin Media’s CCO. “Unfortunately, much of it isn’t fit for purpose and it’s tended to tar everyone with the same brush. Paradoxically, it’s also created the problem of undermining genuine findings even if the company doing the research has a commercial interest in proving them, so the results are mistakenly ignored.”

Doyle adds that he’s “aware of the irony of producing a research study saying research quality is inadequate.”

The quality and detail of the methodology (cited by 61% of respondents) is the most important factor in assessing the validity of research, followed by its relevance to current industry issues (54%).

A "seal of approval" awarded by an independent industry body is seen as the most effective way to improve how people perceive digital advertising research (cited by 71%) narrowly ahead of a detailed methodology explanation for every study (70%).

“The rise of online survey platforms means anyone with a few hundred pounds can produce one but hopefully the industry will start demanding far more rigour and detail about the methodology, as well as taking into greater account the agenda of the company producing it,” says Doyle. “Indeed, the support for an independent seal of approval is reminiscent of what’s happened in Germany. The major trade bodies along with Google and Facebook launched ‘Qualitätsinitiative Werbewirkungsforschung’ – an initiative to increase transparency and quality in advertising effectiveness research.”

Industry professionals most prefer to hear about the insights from research in face-to-face presentations (cited by 56% of respondents), followed by infographics (45%) and trade magazines / blog posts (37%). Webinars are the least favourite method (cited by just 14%).

 

Gaviscon beats M&Ms and KFC to best TV ad of the year


Gaviscon’s “Tim and Tom” has fended off both M&M’s “red and yellow” and KFC to retain the title of the most effective TV ad of 2017, as advertisers relied heavily on humour and novel imagery to grab viewer attention as dual-screening and ad skipping becomes increasingly prevalent. 

The top ads comes from the UK’s most comprehensive on-going analysis of TV advertising, conducted by Nielsen, which involved over one million survey results across 3,600 ads in 2017.

Healthy eating and “big nights in” drive 2017s fastest-growing groceries

 

There’s a distinctly contrasting nature to the fastest-growing grocery products of the year as fresh fruit and ‘free-from’ led the way, alongside spirits and sparkling wine.

Shoppers in the UK spent £176.4 million more on fresh fruit this year than they did last year, according to Nielsen's annual analysis of till sales at supermarkets and convenience stores, while sales of spirits rose £152.3 million and those of free-from products, such as items without gluten or dairy, rose £146.6 million.

Shopper purchasing confidence hits lowest level in over two years ... Nielsen Research

The number of British shoppers feeling positive about making purchases has hit its lowest level since the second quarter of 2015, according to Nielsen’s latest Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions.
Less than half (47%) felt now is a good time to buy things they may want or need over the next year – a figure that has been steadily dropping since just after the Brexit vote, when it stood at 53%.

Reader & publisher relationship has 'catalytic' effect on ad effectiveness .. Inskin Media

Brand safety is considerably more complex than the industry thinks


The relationship a reader has with a publisher has far more impact on the effectiveness of online ads than the surrounding editorial content, which suggests concerns around brand safety may be misunderstood, according to a new study. 
 
The study – by Inskin Media, Research Now and Conquest Research – compared the conscious and subconscious reactions of 4,370 people, who were served ads on websites either with or without publisher branding. It revealed that ads on the publisher-branded sites increased consideration for the advertiser by 60% compared to the ads on the site without publisher branding.

New Research ...Ad viewability hits 18-month high .. Meetrics

First consecutive rise on record

For the first time since it started measuring ad viewability, the level in the UK rose for two consecutive quarters – to hit the highest mark for 18 months – according to the latest quarterly benchmark report from ad verification company Meetrics. 

In the third quarter of 2017, the proportion of banner ads served that met minimum viewability guidelines rose from 51% to 52% – the highest level since Q1 2016 (54%). This followed a rise from 47% to 51% in the previous quarter.

"Yes, the latest rise is small but its directionally very significant, said Anant Joshi, Meetrics’ country manager for UK & Ireland. [Pictured] “For the first time, there’s a consistent positive trend which is a sign that efforts to increase viewability are bearing fruit. A driving factor is that some agency groups are starting to demand a higher percentage of an ad’s surface area to be in view which is making the sell side improve the quality of their ad placements."
 

Viewability comparison by countries

Despite the rise, the UK still lags far behind the other six European countries in which Meetrics measures viewability. Italy (68% viewability) and Austria (67%) lead the way while Switzerland and Poland (both 55%) are the closest to UK levels. Joshi notes that despite the UK heading in the right direction, the latest IAB/PwC digital adspend figures “suggest around £165m in the UK is being wasted per quarter on ads not meeting minimum viewability guidelines.”

Ads are deemed viewable if the meet the IAB and Media Ratings Council’s recommendation that 50% of the ad is in view for at least one second.

Discussing Options: Should You Invest in Dedicated Apps or Mobile Sites?

Mobile applications (apps) and mobile websites often perform very similar roles yet there are still fairly large differences between the two.

The Comparison.  So, what are they? An application is a program that will be downloaded onto the user’s phone; as such, it can be tailored to a very specific purpose and can be more interactive with the user than a mobile site. Applications can be accessed offline and can be left running in the background of your phone, allowing for easier access where regular usage is required.

A mobile site is simply a website that has a specific variant for mobiles. Mobile sites are sometimes preferred to apps as they are easier to access and provide a greater online presence for businesses, and they can be found and shared easily. Mobile sites are cheaper and easier to make than apps, and they offer compatibility across all phone devices.

Examples.

eBay's application is useful for regular users as it allows for push notifications on bids and followed items, and it provides an easier interface for those wanting to sell items. Blizzard, the creators of World of Warcraft, have produced an app for their game that provides the perfect example of how apps can be more relevant than mobile sites. The app allows users to access in-game features such as the store (auction house), team chat and follower missions that require an amount of processing power not accessible through a website.

However, the company's online store (Battle.net) has remained app free with a mobile site. This is mainly due to the fact that Blizzard experiences far greater desktop traffic than mobile traffic by up to seven times as much, meaning a mobile-only app would not be worth the development cost. But, it is also due to convenience as their customer support must be readily accessible on all devices.

Why Not Use Both?

Apps and Mobile sites often shine in their own areas but they work best where there is some crossover. Shopping sites like Amazon often feature both, as companies must support a wide range of customers, from regular users to one-off interactions. In the world of iGaming there is a number of casinos that offers both a mobile site and applications to download. The casino uses a mobile site for ease of access and for first time players, while they offer applications for many of their games so they can be accessed offline or on the go.

Lastly, HSBC mobile banking features a mobile site and app that must be used in conjunction as a security measure. It is a great example of both being used to their strengths; the mobile site allows for convenient banking whereas the app, which can only be on the account holder’s phone, confirms the account holder is the one accessing the mobile site through a throw-away generated input code.

Both applications and mobile sites have their own positives and negatives; you should decide which you want to develop based on what kind of experience you want your users to have. For regular accessibility, security, and greater integration with the phone’s features (such as use of the camera) developing an app is best. For ease of access, better web presence, upgradeability, and cross-device compatibility, mobile sites are the best option.