UK mobile advertising trends: Size doesn’t matter anymore?


When it comes to mobile advertising, UK consumers are increasingly screen agnostic- with environment and context becoming more important, according to new research.

The study, from YuMe, indicates that consumer media consumption on mobile devices is influenced by environment and context, not just screen size.

YuMe, a leading independent provider of digital video brand advertising solutions, in conjunction with Decipher, the digital media research and consulting firm, announced the results of its 1,500 person UK-focused quantitative and qualitative research study last week, examining consumer behaviour and reaction to advertising and content on mobile devices.

The study emerged from a panel discussion at the 2012 Guardian Mobile Business Summit, in which key UK advertisers and publishers discussed open questions about mobile advertising. The study reveals that advertising on mobile devices is playing a larger role amongst consumers, expanding to encompass brand experience as well as its traditional role as a direct response platform.

“Our advice to advertisers is to throw away your screen-by-screen media planning rule books. Our in-depth survey on the behaviour of the British consumer on mobile devices began with the assumption that the tablet is the ultimate media-consuming device. But what the research has shown is that media opportunities on mobile are not simply a matter of screen size; they are multi-modal functions of environment, content, and screen. For advertisers, this means that the most effective advertising is a multi-screen campaign, whilst publishers need to ensure their content is available across all screens,” says Owen Hanks, General Manager of Mobile, Europe, at YuMe.

Insights from the study include:

-- Size Doesn’t Matter: Consumers are increasingly screen agnostic when it comes to consuming content. By device, 38 percent of respondents accessed entertainment content on their smartphone; 34 percent on their laptop, and 28 percent on their tablets.

-- Environment Matters More Than Device: Consumers prefer to consume content in the comfort of their homes, where they are also much more receptive to advertising. Even with smartphones, the most mobile device, there is an almost even split in media consumption at home (31 percent); out and about (24 percent); travelling (24 percent) and work usage (21 percent).

-- Video Advertising Works across Devices: Video advertising has shown to be able to deliver on advertising engagement effectively on any device, particularly in the home environment. Pre-roll brand recall is 3.5 times higher than banner recall across all screens.

-- Tablets Are Not Bigger Smartphones: Tablets have emerged as a particularly key device in the home, akin to laptops, in which entertainment is being consumed, and advertising effectively delivered.

-- Mobile Both a Branding Experience and Direct Response Platform: Whilst smartphones have traditionally been thought of as a direct response platform, the study shows that advertising works on smartphones for branding as well. The effect is, however, often to inform later decision making, rather than immediate purchase.

Nigel Walley, Managing Director of Decipher, says: “This is one of the UK’s most comprehensive surveys of consumer behaviour on mobile devices that’s been done. By getting out in the field with such a large group of respondents, we were able to really understand how different consumer groups were using mobile and engaging with advertising. We could see the implications of context first hand – with consumers reacting very differently to content when in-home, travelling, at work or just out and about. We could also see how similarly they behaved around content types, irrespective of the device type and size. This has led us to challenge our perceptions of mobile advertising, and to debunk the myth that it is size that matters.”

For more on the results of this study, as well as a copy of the report please visit:

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