ARF Original Research: How Advertising Works

Creating Effective Mobile Advertising
Manuel Garcia-Garcia, Ph.D., SVP, The ARF

Mobile ad spend is at $43 billion and growing rapidly, but an estimated 62% of campaigns today are not using mobile in an optimal way. For example, creative executions customized or developed for mobile are far more effective than those repurposed from TV. We surveyed and interviewed creative experts from top agencies and the provided the following guidelines:

  • When it comes to length of the creative, over half say that shorter is better. However, it is less about time and more about quality
  • Creative should be adapted for the mobile screen, with simple, larger images and text. Content should be made and tested with a vertical orientation in mind
  • Include subtitles and captions to make your message clear without sound, but establish relevance early on to make them turn the audio on
  • Recognizing consumers’ multi-tasking tendencies, make sure ads are engaging within the first 2 seconds. Introduce the celebrity, product, or punch line upfront
  • Leverage data in the creative process: Track performance and consumer behavior. Test concepts and copy. Target and customize message for location, time of day, demographics, interests, and psychographics

Final research findings on Mobile Advertising will be presented at Audience Measurement 2017.

The Advertising Research Foundation Reveals Groundbreaking Research: How Advertising Works Today

The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) announced the findings from its How Advertising Works research, based on over 5000 campaigns, 12 years of data, and $375B in advertising spend in 41 countries across over 100 categories.  

This study, independently conducted by the ARF, was sponsored and supported by over 25 contributing companies including ESPN, MediaScience, Neuro-Insight, Analytic Partners, Unilever, Kellogg, Levi Strauss, Nissan, Starcom Mediavest, CBS, Facebook, Google, Marketing Evolution, Millward Brown, iHeartMedia, Meredith, Nielsen, and comScore. There has not been a study done to this scale and depth in over 25 years.

Groundbreaking insights are highlighted:

  • Marketers may be starving off growth by not investing enough in advertising as they shift the mix from traditional to new platforms, missing the opportunity to generate billions in additional return.
  • Spending across multiple platforms delivers greater ROI than any single platform – including for Millennial consumers.
  • “Silo-investing” – too much frequency via a single platform can lead to diminishing returns.
  • To jumpstart growth marketers can take advantage of the “kicker effect” of smart spending with specific combinations of traditional plus new media on the right platforms.
  • A unified creative strategy across platforms is key to compound the investment of a multi-platform campaign, but unified creative executions also need to be specifically tailored to each platform to ensure optimal consumer engagement.

Gayle Fuguitt, CEO and President of the ARF said, “We are pleased to lead this important initiative that brings scientific proof, measured opportunities and a roadmap for growth to the industry at C-suite speed and scale.”


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