How Mobile Apps are Driving a Resurgence in Advertising Creativity


When thinking about the advertising industry, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Product positioning, traffic generation, increased revenue? But what about creativity?

History shows that creativity and advertising industry took separate ways in the 90s. After the era of Ogilvy and Joseph Sugarman in the 50s and 60s, when a creative advertisement could bring a company to new heights, the times of dull and uninteresting ads came into existence. The only objective they had is the domination of market share. Marketers started to focus more on numbers and less on creativity.

The situation became even more drastic in the 1990s when the internet became ever-present. Marketers saw a new chance to reach more potential customers in a cost-efficient way. New opportunities, that had never been present before, reversed the direction for advertisers and put ads as far away from creativity as possible. Automated ad campaigns annoyed consumers with company-centric advertisements with no real value.

Mobile Apps – a Distinctive Shift into Creativity

During the past 10+ years, we saw the change in the advertising industry. With the evolution of smartphones with touchscreens, entrepreneurs turned to creating mobile apps as a new kind of business. For them, it was vital to find a good custom software development company to have a product developed, and for marketers it became urgent to find ways to these new communication channels to promote their products or services.

This way, in-app ads became a new phenomenon. People spend more and more time on smartphones. On average, adults interact with mobile phones for 3 hours and 23 minutes per day. The TV is about to lose its unassailable position to mobile as the primary medium that attracts the majority of users.

Mobile apps are a new channel for product and service promotions with an extensive reach and a huge base of potential customers. Mobile ad spending dominates the entire advertising industry with in-app holding at least an 87% share of the total ad spending. The CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of global in-app advertising market is expected to grow to $218 billion in 2023.

Ordinary advertisements fail to attract more visitors and turn them into buyers. App campaigns streamline the process by allowing ads to appear on billions of smartphones across the globe. All of the above combined gave rise to a resurgence in advertising creativity. Marketers are trying to find new ways to present their offers to increase user engagement and revenue.

Big Touch Screens Open New Possibilities

Advertisers already use the full advantage of big touch screens the vast majority of smartphones are equipped with. In the past, ads were primarily showed at the top or bottom of the screen as banners; now ads are often created in the full-screen format with audio. Google allows up to 30 seconds of video which marketers can use to showcase a product, application or service. It is enough time for engaging storytelling which is known to be the most effective in bringing new customers and has a higher click-through rate.

Moreover, advertisers can combine various types of ads within a single campaign, like banners, videos and social media ads, to create all-around user experience across the in-app advertisement campaign.

Marketers heavily rely on creativity to make such ads more engaging to watch and enticing to click on.

Highly Targeted Ads

When users interact with apps, they provide a lot of personal data – age, gender, location, nationality and much more. Advertisers can use this data to better target ads and reach their audience. By harnessing geolocation data, they can also reach users at the right time and in the right place. It results in more interaction with advertisements, a higher click-through rate, and more new customers. This differentiates the in-app ads from in-browser ones.

Interactive and Engaging Advertisements

TV ads are completely passive. In-app games, on the other hand, make customers interact with the content. Marketers are able to create a more engaging experience, and we are not talking about ad banners and static images. We are talking about innovative approaches to in-app advertising.

Millennials, who are the first generation grown up with technologies, expect apps to be engaging. Playables are a relatively new form of ads. Users can play a game right in an ad or interact with the content in a different way.

Playable ads gave rise to unprecedented creativity. Providing users with an opportunity to interact with ad content right from the app screen, marketers immerse them into the customers’ experience right away. This type of ads can be used to showcase a product or products in a movable carousel or offer mini-games that don’t even feel like ads. Marketers use all their creativity to make such ads more exciting and vivid.

Better Customer Experience

The main advantage of in-app advertising is a better customer experience. Mobile web often compresses ads making them unappealing to smartphone users. In apps, ads are scaled to fit the screen better and look more attractive. Users are more willing to interact with ads that look great on their screen.

However, it is not enough to just create an ad and to list the most important information about your product in it. You need to apply all your creativity for an ad to stand out from hundreds or even thousands of the same-format ads.

Native Ads Increase Click-Through Rate

Native advertisements are designed in such a way to blend with the surrounding content. Such ads look like a part of the interface instead of being a banner that disrupts the user experience. Native ads have one significant advantage as compared to banners – they cannot be blocked. As a result, advertisers apply a great deal of creativity to such ads for them to look native and not to distract users’ attention from the app itself.

Do Mobile Apps Increase Advertising Creativity?

The advertising industry was reborn with the rise of smartphones’ popularity. There are more than 3 billion smartphone users who can be targeted with in-app ads. Studies show that users spend 90% of their mobile time on apps and only 10% on browsing the internet.

In-app ads provide marketers with the opportunity to use highly targeted and engaging tactics. The industry is highly competitive and advertisers want to push technical boundaries and develop highly creative and top-tier ads for their products.

Ads automation leaves them with additional time for out-of-the-box ideas and solutions. In the past few years, we’ve seen a lot of successful advertisement cases with creative approaches to acquiring new customers and increasing engagement. And the trend shows no sign of slowing down as we are entering the era of virtual and augmented reality.