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Microsoft mobile ad campaign boosts brand awareness 93pc

A Microsoft campaign last year that leveraged swiping and typed-in keywords highlights the need for marketers to develop more interactive campaigns to build up brand awareness and recognition.

Microsoft was the first brand to leverage a new gesture-based mobile ad unit from Solve Media, with the lift in brand awareness claimed to be 22 times greater than average campaigns based on data from comScore. With more brands looking to break out of basic banner ads, units that leverage motion or a typed-in word are meant to cut down on the number of fraudulent clicks that are common on smaller-sized screens.

?Advertisers don?t want to pay for low-value ad units on mobile devices that are often clicked by accident due to poor user experience and fat fingers,? said Ari Jacoby, CEO of Solve Media, New York.

?With our new gestural technology, advertisers are also providing their audience with a choice in how they engage with an advertisement, something that?s an increasingly important consumer demand,? he said.

?The cognition that is derived from interacting, gesturally, with an advertisement guarantees that those seeing your advertisement are real humans with true purchase intent.?

Gesture-based advertising
The Microsoft campaign ran in late 2013 to promote the Nokia Lumia 1020 phone. The brand wanted to specifically play up the phone?s camera feature.

The phone?s camera boasts a 41mp sensor and a setting where consumers can zoom in on something specific while taking a shot so that it can be enlarged without looking pixelated.

Full-page interstitial ads promoting the camera asked consumers to either tap their finger on the screen twice or type in the phase ?Zoom. Reinvented.?

Once the gesture was detected or the word was typed in, the ad showed consumers a picture of a building with a balloon hanging on the side. Initially the balloon looks blurry, but when zoomed in on with the camera on a the Nokia Lumia 1020, the image appears clear.

The ad then changes to feature an image of the camera next to a call-to-action that promotes the Windows-operated device.

The ads ran on Solve Media?s network of 8,700 publishers, which includes Meredith Corp., AOL and Bauer Media Group.

Lead by example
Other brands besides Microsoft have seen success with these types of type-in mobile ads.

Last year, Unilever?s Wish-Bone salad dressing claimed to increase brand awareness by 122 percent. The campaign prompted consumers to enter five different keywords associated with a product (see story).

The hype around custom ad units has grown significantly in the past year as marketers look for ways to mix up their campaigns with formats that break out of basic banners.

Gesture-based mobile ads are one way that marketers can differentiate their ads with features that are based on actual motions that consumers are making on smartphones and tablets.

?They are empowered to engage with the ad in their preferred method, but the keyword there is ?engage,?? Mr. Jacoby said. ?Unlike banners or mobile pop ups, our gestural ads command user cognition driving up key metrics like awareness, association, recall and purchase intent.?

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York