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Behavioral science can boost mobile ads

News, 20 December 2016
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MENLO PARK, CA: Marketers should consider behavioral science when seeking to maximise the impact of their mobile advertising, according to a leading executive from Ipsos.

Peter Minnium, US President of Ipsos Connect, discussed this subject at the Advertising Research Foundation's 2016 ARF West Conference.

"It turns out that behavioral scientists … know a thing or two about how to optimise on screens," he said. (For more, read Warc's exclusive report: Improving mobile creative: Ten tips from behavioral science.)

"In fact, they've been wrestling with the notion of how people process information and make decisions in an 'attention economy' for quite a long time."

One example of this idea in action, he reported, involves the amount of information brands aim to convey in a marketing message.

"We can only hold four pieces of information in our minds at any one time, plus or minus one," Minnium told the ARF assembly.

Connecting with consumers scrolling on a mobile screen, he continued, similarly requires making sure that ads are truly eye-catching from the first moment.

"It turns out that many of our choices, behaviors and beliefs are the result of processing that takes place well before we're even aware of what we're looking at," said Minnium.

In practice, that means what comes first in a creative execution on mobile is also the most important part of the message. "That first frame ... is almost always going to be the first and last impression that someone has of that ad," Minnium said.

Drilling down into more specific creative decisions, he asserted that there are major benefits that come from placing vital components of ads in the middle of the screen.

"We all have a visual bias to look at things in the center of the screen," Minnium said. "Any information that you put in the center of the screen is going to have an outsized impact on the entirety of the ad."

Data sourced from Warc

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