Google aims to make mobile advertising more appealing to brands

Google is hoping to make mobile advertising more appealing to brands with the launch of four new display ad formats created specifically for mobile devices, as it admits some brands are struggling to engage with consumers via mobile. 

Rolling out globally over the coming two months, including in the UK, the formats are all designed specifically for mobile. The full-screen ads will appear in apps at logical points such as when clicking into an article on a news app or between levels of a game.

A mobile video ad, previously only available in gaming apps, will be expanded across a wider range of apps. As on YouTube, viewers will be able to skip the ad after a few seconds. There will also be new text ad formats that aim to emulate “magazine glossiness”.

There is also an “engagement ad” format that takes over the whole screen and allows brands to offer a range of content, from videos to pictures or maps. However, this will only appear if users click on a small ad at the top of the screen.

Finally, Google is introducing an “anchor” format that will stay at the bottom of the screen as people scroll down, although users can dismiss it if they find it annoying.

There will also be a new suite of tools that are meant to make it easier for brands to build “successful ads that work across screens”.

Google admits that some brands have struggled to engage with consumers via mobile. Google’s director of product management for mobile display ads, Jonathan Alferness, claims this is because mobile formats didn’t make for a great customer experience or because they brands had to change existing display ads to run on mobile devices or browsers.

“It’s true that mobile devices offer a new canvas for advertisers to connect with consumers, but painting on this canvas has not always been easy. With these new tools and formats, we’re making it easier for advertisers to develop beautiful display ads that just work, regardless of screen or device, ensuring a better experience for both consumers and brands,” he says in a blog post.

So far, growth in mobile ad spend hasn’t kept pace with the increases in mobile audience size. Emarketer estimates that mobile will account for 13.4 per cent of total media spend in the UK this year while consumers spent more than a fifth (21 per cent) of their media time on mobile.

A report earlier this year from the CMO Council found that 52 per cent of marketers are either planning no change or a decrease to their mobile marketing budgets, which include search, banner and display.

That is a significant slowdown on 2013, when 62 per cent of marketers planned to increase their budgets.

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