What is the mobile advertising creative process like in Latin America? We spoke with Gonzalo Borras, our team lead in the Buenos Aires office, about how creativity translates across continents and cultures.
“It’s different here”
Regarding the time we need to build ads, well, okay, it’s the same as in the U.S. or Europe. But in those regions things are much more organized; you have time to build mockups and send a demo to the client. Here, clients want to see the real ad, they want to see their brand in the unit. So, we just go ahead and build the media itself and send it directly to the advertiser. It’s the best way right now to help them understand all the creative possibilities.
Another big difference is the variation in carrier speeds. In the U.S. and EMEA, mobile carriers are all pretty fast. Here we have to be more careful about optimizing our rich media to be able to run on the speed that the operator offers, which in many cases is even a shade under 3G.
“Pre-existing assets? Sure, send ‘em over”
One of the biggest challenges we face is the expectation that we can simply adapt existing assets to mobile. Now, sure, our creative team is absolutely mobile-first, and that is an embedded skill that comes with the package — we know what works on mobile, we consider all of the different device types and screen sizes, and we can do magic with rich media.
Nespresso Mobile Campaign
But nine times out of ten we aren’t even given the assets to work with! So we have to be scrappy. It’s actually one of the things we’re known for. We get creative on how to source the right assets and work with it!
“Creativity has become more important, not less, as mobile has evolved”
Creativity in advertising used to be about the superficial impression, or in its greater moments, the story you were telling the consumer and the emotion you were getting them to feel. And in the beginning, mobile had the same goals — just with a smaller screen, which of course, made it more difficult.
What’s so exciting now is that we’ve evolved way beyond that, and marketers are starting to truly understand mobile’s core benefits. When you leverage the device’s native functionality (e.g., the gyroscope, camera, accelerometer, GPS) it allows you to engage with your audience in entirely new ways.
We also have so much more data than ever before, and what that does for targeting is amazing. With mobile, you have anonymous data on people’s actions, interests and location. If, for example, a device is on a WiFi connection at 12pm on a Tuesday, you can safely guess they are at their workplace, possibly about to take a lunch break, so serving them an ad for a quick-service restaurant in their area would make great sense.
“FYI…we invented the selfie”
Did you know that? It’s true. Here in Latin America the autofoto, or selfie, was the “it” thing to do,well before you all went crazy over it. So when we quickly put together the selfie ad unit for the World Cup in Brazil, we knew it would be a big hit. Who wouldn’t want their face on a Brazilian, Mexican or Argentinian football team jersey, for example?
So those are really popular. Animation is also a hot commodity right now, and not everyone is offering that. I think what’s going to be big next is the motion unit. The user activates the camera, moves his head in front of it, and some special element will show in the ad. There are also going to be more around music, where you see a piano or guitar and can play it, all within the ad itself. Lots of cool interactivity on the horizon!
“How much can (or should) you really fit on a 320X50?”
There was one time that a client asked for images of four different cars, a whole bunch of copy and of course their logo… all on a 320X50. And there were also some legal disclaimers that had to be included as part of the message, too.
I think there is still a big disconnect in the industry about how to do a lot with very little. Tons of content — but with little space. Cool, innovative ad units, but lacking a significant budget. And, as I mentioned earlier, a rich media execution, but without the existing assets. That is where our creative team is really challenged and has to rise to the occasion in order to make something we are all proud of.
Gonzalo Borras is the Business Development Manager at Opera Mediaworks LATAM.