Adopting a full-screen approach to mobile advertising addresses many (but not all) of the viewability issues facing the mobile advertising ecosystem.
For starters, full-screen ad placements take up the entire screen of a mobile device, so that removes the challenges around placement and scrolling – the ad will always be visible to consumers. Next, the banner as we know it, is fading away and being replaced by other ad formats, such as video and native as the new dominant ad units of the future. Agencies and brands 'get' video as a format and many have successfully built up their brands on TV over the past decades – in other words, brands understand how to make great videos that work and how to measure them. Native, although a relatively new format for mobile, has been around in print and other media for some time, again, brands 'get' native advertising. Finally, as consumers, we’ve all grown up watching endless hours of TV commercials that are full-screen and one hundred per cent viewable – now we are extending that concept across to mobile – one that advertisers and agencies can easily wrap their heads around.
What’s becoming evident via the current market shift towards more engaging, interactive and larger ad formats (such as full-screen ads), is that consumers are getting a much better user experience. For advertisers, it gives them what they need in terms of higher engagement rates and the potential to impact brand metrics, and developers benefit from higher CPMs and ad quality – as brand spend opens up with newer ad formats.
Regarding viewability, the digital advertising ecosystem is still debating standards for online (yet alone mobile) and there’s general consensus that the Media Rating Council and the IAB standards do not go far enough, but nonetheless, a step in the right direction. The industry (agencies, ad tech players and publishers) are getting behind and working towards updating existing models with a view to publishing a new paper in 2016.
For now, the industry remains focused on solving the challenges with viewability online first, but what’s clear, is that mobile is emerging with less viewability problems than desktop. In what’s rapidly becoming a mobile-first society, dominated by applications, common issues on desktop like 'below-the-fold' are removed by full-screen ads.
That said, mobile advertising platforms that support payment and reporting by impressions served as well as full-screen ad formats (video, rich media and interstitial), go as far as possible in providing a solution now for advertisers that addresses the big elephant in the room – viewability.