Reimagining the Mobile Banner: In-App Ad Innovation Spares Brands from Google’s Interstitial Pinch

In-app creative is already generating ad models that avoid both banner blindness and the search penalties coming into play.

For those in mobile creative still designing full-screen interstitials, you’ve got until January 10 to get a different plan together. That’s the date Google starts penalizing search results for sites that haven’t moved on from the takeover approach.

I wholly agree with the Google interstitials penalty structure. The majority of us in mobile creative already know that we can’t continue to rely on ad units that disrupt user experiences and overpower the underlying content. It’s not just about search results for mobile web, either; it’s about user response. Case in point, MediaBrix’s most recent study tells us that mobile consumers are twice as likely to react negatively to full-screen takeovers (video, in this instance) as they are to embedded, opt-in mobile creative that actually rewards attention by doing something cool.

Since the future of our work is about designing smarter ways to reach users, what we need to focus on are ways to drive engagement, not distraction. And that means finding subtle things — whether we’re building for apps or the mobile-web — that trigger the meaningful interactions. Bottom line, this isn’t 1999; we’re not building banners for that last century’s desktop.

So, as January 10 approaches, let’s look at some creative models from the app side of the table — that’s where I’m coming from (obviously). Each of the ideas that follow represent fresh approaches to the mobile screen, concepts that mobile-web can put to use, steering clear of Google’s search penalties while making better user experiences overall. [Article continues on]

For examples of breakthrough in-app creative experiences, visit Verve Foundry.

Walter T. Geer III is Vice President, Creative Director at Verve in New York City.

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