SINGAPORE: Six in ten Asian consumers prefer to watch ads that reward them for doing so, according to a new study that highlights four particular areas as being key to navigating the intricacies of mobile advertising in Southeast Asia.

The Four Cs of Mobile Advertising, produced by Omnicom Media Group in partnership with Epinion, was based on an online study across Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam of 2,631 internet users aged 15-54 who also own a smartphone. The 4 Cs were channel, context, content and connect.

In terms of context, 77% of respondents preferred personalised ads or ads they could choose. And 60% favoured entertaining ads or ads that rewarded them for watching.

As it was, almost eight in ten (77%) had clicked on or read a mobile ad in the past month, but only half (52%) had done so intentionally; 48% were unintentional clicks.

The most effective advertising mobile channels are communication related, the report found. Email was high on both notice (45%) and click through (25%), followed by Facebook News Feed and animated content or video ads on an instant messaging app or website.

Almost three quarters of consumers (74%) said they turned to their phones to relieve boredom. And while most sought out entertainment, significant proportions were also looking for something with functional and practical value.

So, for example, self-improvement tips (43%), motivational or inspirational quotes (30%) and recipes (27%) were among the types of content that were popular.

Multi-screening was common, with 60% of respondents using their smartphones while watching TV, at least four out of ten times. And three quarters of these used their smartphone to interact with the TV content – either talking, sharing or searching for programme-related info (47%) or TV ad-related info (28%).

Thue Quist Thomasen, head/group sales and marketing at Epinion, observed a "huge opportunity for brands to enhance the utility and functionality of their [mobile] campaigns" as consumer behaviour changes.

"Brands should move away from the fixation of content equates entertainment or information, and reconsider or redefine what does content mean to consumers from the perspective of utilisation," he said.

Data sourced from Epinion; additional content by Warc staff