IAB/MMA Mobile Creative and Innovation

We recently attended the IAB/MMA Mobile Creative and Innovation session sponsored by Celtra. The event involved various talks from industry influencers and included a topical debate on whether mobile is better at building brands than online.

The mobile debate

Milton Elias, Head of Mobile OMD UK arguing for mobile, said mobile is the only platform that can deliver on reach and frequency and enables advertising to be contextual. Mobile is also the seamless link to other media channels. He did accept that many mobile ad campaigns have been poor because of lack of relevance. 

Arguing against mobile was James Collier from Adtruth. He pointed out that mobile is still not trusted by big brands as question marks over tracking and ROI ultimately remain. On the tracking point it’s no surprise that 85% of mobile display revenues go to Facebook and Google as these two offer a single login, so identifying users across devices isn't an issue for brands. Despite these concerns the majority of the audience voted in favor of mobile (I was a dissenting voice). In my opinion more spend will come from big brands but in the short term mobile display will continue to be dominated by performance campaigns.

IoT - ‘Things’ that make you go...whoa!

The main focus of the event was mobile video advertising but we also had talks from the likes of Sean Betts of Havas who talked about the Internet of Things. He presented a few crowdfunded ideas in products all using the IoT to connect with mobile, here are a few we found particularly interesting:

The Scio Molecular Sensor allows the user to analyze the molecular structure of materials such as plants, medicine and food, giving you instant information on your smartphone.  The information collected will help build a database of knowledge to be fed back to the community of users. The project has now received an investment of $2.7 million after seeking initial investment of $200k from crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.

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The Scio Molecular Sensor has the ability to detect the molecular development of food, in this instance checking if this avocado is ripe

Canary is the first mobile operated smart home security device. It features a range of sensors that will detect anything out of the ordinary including changes in temperature, air quality, motion, vibration and sound. Canary will send you mobile alerts when it detects something unusual allowing you to take action. Crowdfunding for this product through Indiegogo has raised over $1.9 million, well over the $100k goal they set out to achieve.

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Showcasing Canary’s elegant design and the sleek interface of the mobile app available on iPhone and Android



The Scanadu Scout allows you to monitor your vital signs and relay data to your smartphone. The Scout allows you to see minute details of your health, including your heart rate, blood pressure, temperature and the oxygen levels in your blood. The product, initially designed for astronauts living in the ISS, has received huge backing from crowdfunding platform Indiegogo generating over $1.6 million from its initial goal of $100,000.

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The Scandadu Scout device which connects to your smartphone to monitor changes in your health

The big criticism about IoT up till now is that there has been no real practical examples of it. Although I would have a few hours of fun using the Scio Molecular Scanner I’d struggle to find a long term practical use for it. However, I think the other two examples above show that IoT isn’t just about gimmicks. Health in particular is a category where I see immediate and long term benefit. A lot of people are already monitoring fitness through mobile apps and wearables. Why should it end there?

Campaigns that click with consumers

Jonathan Milne of Celtra revealed some interesting benchmark stats generated from rich media campaigns. We discovered that standard rich media formats such as expandables get an average click-through rate of 3% while rising star formats are getting up to 6%. Native ads, the buzzwords of 2013 are getting five times the expansion rates and CTRs at 10%.

Where to from here?

We’re looking forward to the next IAB/MMA Mobile Creative and Innovation session. It will be interesting to discover any new trends in mobile innovation, find out which ad formats are winning and see the progress of mobile products connected to the IoT.

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