Tablet ads have unique potential

27 July 2012

LONDON: Over 50% of tablet owners in the UK believe this channel holds unique opportunities for advertisers, although brands must focus on finding the right context and creative, a study has revealed.

The IAB, the digital trade body, and Ipsos MediaCT, the research group, polled 1,000 people possessing such devices, and found 55% agreed they offered advertising experiences which "other media can't".

A majority of interviewees also expected the "unique functionality" of gadgets like the iPad and Kindle Fire to be incorporated into the ads they were exposed to.

For 30% of the panel, however, the communications which they have seen to date did not meet these requirements, meaning they held a "negative opinion overall" of the current state of tablet advertising.

More than three times as many respondents that were exposed to ads with an element of interactivity perceived them as being "innovative" than was the case for the static alternative.

Similarly, the first of these formats was seen as being "engaging" and "memorable" by twice the number of contributors that adopted this opinion with regard to static ads.

The most engaging ads thus secured a dwell time of 44 seconds, versus 22 seconds as a norm, suggesting respondents' behaviour changed as a result of truly stimulating creative and execution.

Despite the potential for experimentation, the IAB asserted that some of the "old rules" still apply. As an example, 82% of the sample thought ads should be adapted to the surrounding content, showing that context has retained its importance.

Further, 95% of individuals surveyed posited that ads must be unobtrusive and not interfere with the broader purpose of their activity.

Almost two-thirds of participants would rather be able to access tablet apps with lower upfront costs and more ads than pay higher prices and view fewer brand messages, the study added.

"Digital media forms an important part of our overall communications strategy and tablets play an ever-increasing role within this," said Matt Lamprell, digital communications manager at Renault, the automaker, which supported the research.

"It's important for us to understand customer behaviour and expectations when using these devices, which in turn allows us to ensure our creative strikes the right chord."

Data sourced from IAB; additional content by Warc staff