As Mobile Novelty Fades, Mobile Ad Quality Matters More

Dynamic Logic Study Shows Consumers Increasingly Prefer Well-Crafted Mobile Ads Over Cluttered Banners

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Mobile's losing just a bit of its novelty: Consumers are actually starting to tell the difference between the good mobile ads and the bad.

That's according to a new study from Dynamic Logic, which finds that mobile ads are still much more effective than online display ads -- admittedly, that 's an extremely low bar to clear -- because consumers are still enamored with the new devices. This study marks the first time, however, that the charm has faded enough for differences in messaging and images to really matter.

Previous research found that essentially all mobile ads yielded positive effects. Now "bad" ads are significantly underperforming.

"If mobile used to be about experimentation without paying attention to creative, now if you're not following the basic principles than there's actually negative impact on the brand," said Ali Rana, senior VP and head of Dynamic Logic's Emerging Media Lab.

From more than 100,000 respondents queried on 165 mobile campaigns, the ad-measurement firm found that brand favorability was 14.5% higher among people who saw the best-performing mobile ads than people who hadn't seen the ads. The worst-performing ads, meanwhile, had a negative correlation with brand favorability. That same trend between the top and bottom performers applied to message association and aided brand awareness and purchase intent.

So what's the difference between the two groups? Creative. The top performing ads had strong calls to action, and clear, persistent branding on the left side of ads. Compare that to the worst performers, which repurposed cropped online ads for mobile, exhibited the brand only through a product shot or cluttered ads with overwhelming text or logos.

Granted, these results are based on the subset of consumers online that are willing to fill out surveys served alongside ads. And as consumers become desensitized to the mobile platform over time, mobile ad effectiveness may go the way of online ad effectiveness. Online ads as a whole only boost brand awareness, purchase intent or message association in the low single-digits, according to Dynamic Logic survey results from more than 3 million respondents about 2,400 online ad over three years.

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