Mobile native ad formats: New best practice guidelines

07/05/2015

The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) has launched guidelines for mobile native ad formats, attempting to bring some conformity to the growing mobile advertising space.

This set of ad formats is intended to eliminate confusion in the marketplace to help advertisers, agencies and publishers to more efficiently and effectively deploy mobile native advertising campaigns across the entire market.


The Committee reviewed and categorized each type of native ad on mobile to address the unique attributes of mobile and to provide increased opportunity for marketers.

More specifically, because of mobile’s distinctive device capabilities, the MMA mobile native ad formats are designed squarely for the mobile marketing channel and include: in-feed social, in-feed content, in-feed commerce, in-map, in-game, paid search, recommendation widgets and custom.

MMA committee member companies will provide quarterly reports to the MMA on the adoption of these formats to track, measure and provide further guidance.

The guidelines are the first in a series of reports on mobile native to be released by the Mobile Native Advertising Committee.

“In the wake of the MMA’s recently released Cross Marketing Effectiveness Research (SMoX), which uncovered that mobile native performed significantly better than mobile display, it’s very clear that native advertising will continue to evolve as one of the more effective mobile strategies for marketers,” said Sheryl Daija, chief strategy officer at the MMA. “By adopting a set of ad formats, the mobile advertising marketplace can more efficiently implement mobile native ads, enabling marketers and their agencies to take full advantage of this powerful opportunity to enrich and improve their mobile campaigns.”

The guidelines include:

In-Feed Social

• Social feeds include users’ posts to social networks and sponsored content from advertisers. Examples include Tumblr, Pinterest and Twitter.

In-Feed Content
• Editorial feeds, streams and walls include both paid and unpaid content in various forms, including written stories, music, games, videos and inboxes. Examples include Yahoo, news apps, SoundCloud and Sharethrough.

In-Feed Commerce
• Representing a large retail opportunity, commerce feeds contain product listings, and promoted products are integrated within. Examples include NFC, iBeacons, GPS and payments.

In-Map
• Mobile maps provide location and navigation information. In addition to map data and organically generated business listings, in-map native ads can show distance to location, navigation, directions, click to call, hours, etc. Examples include Waze, FourSquare and Google Maps.

In-Game
• Ads are opt-in where players are invited to watch a video and earn a reward. The reward is a digital currency or feature that adds value to the player experience. An example: Verizon’s video within Madden 15 where when a player watches the 30 second clip, they are rewarded with 250 coins to improve the gameplay experience.


Paid Search

• Ads appear on mobile search sites and apps integrated with organic search results. Mobile features such as click to call, nearest location, driving directions, hours of operation. Examples include Google and Yahoo.

Recommendation Widgets
• Recommendation widgets feature sponsored links and often appear at the end of a feed or when a user is finished reading an article. Examples include Gravity, Taboola, Outbrain and Yahoo Recommends.

Custom
• Content that is built by a brand. For mobile, it can be editorial, music, apps, games or videos. Custom mobile native ads are great for offline integrations with location data and augmented reality. Examples include Sit or Squat app sponsored by Charmin, Pandora sponsored station and Citibike sponsored app.

To view the full MMA Mobile Native Ad Format Recommendation report, please visit: http://www.mmaglobal.com/documents/mobile-native-ad-formats.

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