It has been reported that mobile ad spend will top $100 billion worldwide by 2016. Additionally, mobile video is predicted to account for more than 50% of all online video views. As mobile ad spend has continued to grow, the mobile ad space has become more competitive. Because of the increased competition and the prevalence of mobile media, consumers may have a tendency to become overwhelmed by the sheer volume of mobile ads. Consumers are seeing content in more places from more brands, leaving them with shorter attention spans and high expectations. Mobile creative can also be seen as a difficult canvas to work with; brands must manage smaller screen sizes and catch a user’s attention within seconds.
With a growing mobile ad landscape where there are many ways to falter, brands are challenged to take advantage of mobile’s unique opportunities. Mobile has many native features like front-facing cameras, built-in fitness trackers, GPS, microphone and vibrate features. With significant money being spent on mobile ads, it seems many brands have risen to the challenge. Therefore, it is only through creativity in mobile that it will be possible to stand out above competitors. This will require brands to continuously come up with new ways to utilize mobile’s native features and find new tactics to engage users in their campaigns.
Defining mobile creativity
What exactly does it mean to be creative in the mobile landscape? One of Opera House’s creative masterminds, Gonzalo Borras, believes it’s about “finding news ways to engage with the audience.” Other experts from Opera House are in agreement, adding that creativity in mobile should close the gap between users and the brand, while being able to build new brand experiences that are impossible to do any other way. Mobile creativity allows users to experience new, innovative concepts — all in the palm of their hand.
Balancing creativity with technical constraints
We caught up with our global creative studio, Opera House, and picked their brains on some challenges they’ve ran into when it comes to intersecting art and technology to create an amazing creative
According to our Sr. Creative Director, Doug Manson, a common hurdle Opera House has run into is having to wait for technology to catch up with their creative vision:
“Figuring out how to translate a highly engaging user experience into a mobile ad unit that looks visually stunning within the constraints of both Android and iOS devices can pose quite the challenge. Processing power, file weight and bandwidth are just a few examples of those challenges. We also ask, how can we repurpose video for mobile screens to create the most optimized user experience? What are the best ways to use data to iterate on creative and creative concepts around mobile?”
From there, our folks at Opera House then have to find the right balance — dimensions, calls to action (CTAs) — optimized for each device and operating system (i.e., Apple and Android). “Often times, we provide creative solutions to bring our client’s vision to life and make an impact in the mobile landscape ,” says Jason Collar, Sr. Director of Creative Services. “That, and figuring out how to get all the cool, engaging stuff we create across all devices can definitely be a challenge, but it calls us to be creative in intersecting science and art — that’s where working among such creative minds is extremely beneficial,” adds Manson.
An opportunity to exercise true creativity with technology
How exactly does Opera House face challenges in producing creative ad units that not only keep brands on par with competitors, but also ahead of the game? Nowadays, creative minds need to think beyond creating an engaging creative, limited to a video or display ad. Mobile devices now have a lot of native features brands can utilize, such as the camera.
“Emerging technologies have vastly opened the door to better the overall experience on mobile. The use of the camera, such as in the Lufthansa campaign, allowed users to take a selfie. The Wheat Thins campaign allowed users to experience a new product by using the device’s gyroscope. And with new technology such as motion ads, facial recognition, beacons, and mCommerce slowly hitting the market, the storytelling will only get better,” says Collar.
“That selfie unit was really cool in that it interacted with the user to give a personal connection between the user and the brand,” adds Manson. “It’s something we definitely didn’t perfect over night — there was a lot of trial and error over the years, but we’ve figured out certain ways to get things that are compact for mobile and can load in a matter of seconds. It’s a continued learning process for all of us.”
Unique challenges, unique opportunities
Mobile is unique in that it presents brands with various constraints while simultaneously providing the tools to create more immersive brand experiences. True creativity requires finding inventive ways to use the tools of mobile to minimize the effects of these constraints. In fact, instead of seeing these constraints as limiting, they should be seen as opportunities to enable better storytelling.
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