From AI to apps, AR to VR and beyond, most of the key trends dominating the media landscape today have one thing in common: mobile. Gone are the days of the industry debating when we will see ‘the year of mobile’ – mobile technology is so prevalent in the world today that marketers would be foolish not to consider mobile as a vital part of the marketing mix.
Gartner predicts that in 2018 more than half of all consumers will be using mobile devices as their first port-of-call for carrying out any online activities. Combine those statistics with the fact that the global mobile population stands at 3.7 billion (Statista) and mobile dominates total minutes spent online across the globe, it’s no surprise that brands have been quick to follow suit.
According to Zenith’s latest ad spend forecast, mobile ad spend grew 35% in 2017 and this is expected to grow at an average rate of 21% per year to 2020, when mobile advertising will account for 30.5% of worldwide ad spend reaching $187bn, up from 19.2% in 2017. Within just two years, mobile ad spend will be twice that of desktop and by 2021 will overtake TV spend.
But while mobile ad spend accelerates and brands explore new and exciting ways of engaging with consumers across the platform, Zenith’s Global Brand President, Vittorio Bonori, warns that an understanding of how the entire mobile ecosystem works is vital to achieving ROI:
“The mobile device in our pockets is becoming the gateway to our media world, but its brand-building capabilities are still in question – simply applying old practices to new technology may not translate to brand growth. Having a clear understanding of how the entire ecosystem of paid, owned and earned media works together to drive return on investment is vital.”
Mobile plays a key part of the marketing mix for the majority of campaigns featured on the M&M Global Awards 2018 shortlist, but we’ve delved into the work in the ‘Best Campaign led by Mobile’ category to see how brands are using mobile in the most effective ways.
One of the key trends around mobile is personalisation of the content experience. This brings the focus back to context and relevance, finding those moments to fit in to consumers’ routines without disrupting their experience. Consumers expect to see ads in their daily lives but the personal nature of the mobile device requires advertising to become part of the journey in more considerate ways.
In-app advertising is currently the fastest growing form of mobile advertising and set to triple in value in the next few years from $72bn in 2016 to $201bn in 2021, according to App Annie. Apps featured in all the shortlisted entries in this category, both proprietary apps created by brands around a campaign, as well as brand integration with Snapchat, Facebook Messenger and Waze.
With social media accounting for a large chunk of mobile users’ time, the best examples create a perfect marriage between product and platform. The focus not only centred on brand values but used real-time and gamification techniques to create relevant experiences.
The opportunities for brands and mobile marketing are endless but tapping the full potential of mobile advertising requires the personal touch. From location and proximity marketing to apps, social media and more, mobile shouldn’t just be considered an after-thought or an add on, some of the best ideas are born from mobile-first thinking to create meaningful connections with consumers.
“While it may sound pedestrian, the lesson here is not to force a 360 campaign; just because it’s integrated doesn’t make it good,” said Adam Gerhart, CEO of Mindshare US. “Yes, there are plenty of great omnichannel campaigns but if you have a smart idea that works on mobile, do it justice by giving it the execution it deserves on that channel, instead of trying to force it across platforms.”
We put the spotlight on two M&M Global Awards 2018 shortlisted entries, which highlight this trend:
Safety on the Road | Shell Helix | MediaCom | Malaysia
Shortlisted for: Best Campaign led by Mobile (HIGHLY COMMENDED)
Malaysia’s economic challenges – new taxes, tougher rules on hire purchase loans and a weak currency – have persuaded many families to postpone buying a new car. As a result, the average age of cars on the road has increased. With older cars needing more maintenance, regular oil changes are essential to help cars run smoothly in Malaysia’s tough driving conditions. The challenge for Shell Helix was to bring usage in line with preference. The insight was that more people would change their oil if they thought the need was urgent. It was time to give the car oil category a change of gear by focusing on safety.
Road deaths were on the rise in Malaysia and peaked during key festive seasons such as Hari Raya, which celebrates the end of the holy month of Ramadan and Chinese New Year, when Malaysians travel to visit loved ones. The message would be that alongside buying the presents and food for the journey, smart motorists would also make an oil change a key part of their road trip preparations.
The best time to talk to motorists about their oil was while they were in the car. Five years ago, radio would have been an obvious solution but in 2017 most drivers had a new in-car companion, their smartphone and community-driven traffic and navigation mobile app WAZE. The strategy enabled Shell Helix to reach its target at relevant moments, highlighting the key danger points on their journey using WAZE data, including a clear call to action at key moments based on their location.
Dove Snapchat Hack | Dove | Mindshare | Canada
Shortlisted for: Best Campaign led by Mobile
The distinct pressure to portray your best self on social media forces everyone from Kim Kardashian to your BFF to just post the BEST in their life, not real life. The Snapchat lens is the digital makeup of Dove’s younger target consumers, and the beauty lens is the most used one of them all, allowing Snapchatters to blur out their imperfections and enhance their look.
The best marketing acknowledges content with relevance and it often considers the line between the user and the product. Mindshare wanted Canadian women to embrace their real beauty. To do that, Dove Canada hacked one of Snapchat’s most popular lenses – the beauty lens! Hacking Snapchat’s beauty lens to evolve Dove’s ‘Real Beauty’ brand pledge was the perfect marriage between product and platform.
For 24 hours, users who interacted with the lens were presented with the Dove Real Beauty message ‘Let Real Beauty Shine’. After selecting the beauty lens, a Dove Real Beauty banner would drop down and the beauty lens would no longer be applied to one’s selfie. A subtle transition gave selfie-lovers the chance to pause for thought and reflect on their own beauty – no filter necessary.