In Advertising, Blog Articles

For years now, audiences have been turning away from ads that interrupt or detract from their mobile experience. Consumers are demanding native, non-intrusive experiences more than ever. In fact, according to a new IHS Technology study, consumer engagement with native ads is up to 60% higher than with standard banner ads, retention rates are up to 3x higher, and eCPMs (effective cost per thousand impressions) are up to 2x higher. With such obvious consumer preference, nearly two-thirds (63.2%) of all mobile display ads will be native by 2020—encompassing $53 billion in total advertiser spend.

So, how do you build a successful native mobile campaign? We’ve got experience with that! Let’s take a look, using Phunware’s native campaign for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation as an example. The campaign was created with Paramount Pictures International and global media agency MEC to help launch the next movie in the popular franchise. (PS: It recently won some exciting awards at Advertising Week NY 2016 and is still racking up more!)

Native mobile campaigns: two keys to success

1. Go where users already are.

The Mission: Impossible campaign was created with Phunware’s Phusion, which goes beyond standard media and deeply integrates brands within mobile apps. We worked with Paramount Pictures International and MEC to specify the types of users that would best resonate with the Mission: Impossible brand (age 15-44 with a male skew), as well as the geographic locations the marketing teams were trying to target. Next, we identified apps that had already engaged significant numbers of the desired audience within key countries.

In this case, we worked with two popular biking / action games—Ubisoft’s Trials Frontier and Digital Tales’ SBK15. These games already had millions of monthly active users in the targeted countries.

While creating your own branded app or game may seem like the “sexy” marketing move to make, it takes a lot of resources to build a game—never mind an audience. It makes much more sense to find the audience that already exists, and reach them where they already are.

2. Engage, don’t disrupt.

This concept actually has two elements—brand fit and execution. Deep integration campaigns work best when the user experience in the integration destination syncs well with your overall branding. In this case, biking games were a great match for the Mission: Impossible franchise because they reflect the same adrenaline and adventure vibe. Plus, both games required users to complete challenging missions, dovetailing nicely with the Mission: Impossible story. Shoehorning the Mission: Impossible brand into a different type of app would feel incongruous to users.

Second, when developing your execution, avoid taking users out of the moment or attempting to drive them to an outside landing page or other destination. While most app integrations involve a quick logo or asset swap, the Mission: Impossible campaign gave users the chance to play as an Impossible Missions Force (IMF) agent, motorcycling through terrain designed to mimic scenes from the movie. The custom levels felt like a new part of the game, not a departure from the game experience. Branded intro screens and embedded trailers rounded out the experience without interrupting gameplay.

Remember, native mobile campaigns should contribute to the existing user experience in a positive way. That’s a win for users and your brand.

Great Native Mobile Advertising Drives Results

The Mission: Impossible campaign drove strong connections with the film and high levels of engagement—including more than 13 million gameplays, an 87% video completion rate and a 6.65% click-through rate (CTR)—helping to establish the film as a must-see summer movie.

The industry took notice as well: Last week, Phunware, Paramount Pictures and MEC won the Gaming category at the OMMA Awards, secured Bronze in the Mobile – Branded Games category at the IAB MIXX Awards, and took home the only award in the Marketing within a Mobile Gaming Environment category at The MMA Smarties Awards.

To find out more about Phusion and native mobile advertising, check out our basic intro here, or read about Taking Native Mobile Advertising To the Next Level.

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