Mobile app developers rarely use traditional paid media to advertise their products. That might change, according to the mobile advertising firm Motility Ads, which is helping app publishers like King.com, Wooga and SGN create TV commercials to promote their games and drive downloads.
AdExchanger spoke with VP of business development Josh Rinsky about the company’s ActivateTV platform and its approach to cross-channel marketing.
AdExchanger: What is ActivateTV and what problem are you trying to solve with it?
JOSH RINSKY: We’re looking to drive mobile engagement through cross-channel … and for about a year we’ve been working at driving those kind of activations with mobile display advertising. We have a mobile ad platform that can help publishers monetize their inventory and now we’re bringing our resources to the television side.
The problem we’re addressing now is how to think of television advertising as a vehicle to drive engagements in the mobile space. For the CMO types who need to show details around how a media campaign converts to ROI, we’re using a technology that allows us to see the direct attribution from a commercial on TV to action on the mobile space, ultimately ending up in an install or a user getting a specific retail offer.
Can you give me an example of a commercial?
Let’s say an advertiser like SGN wants to promote their Panda Pop game, so we’ll produce a TV commercial spot for them and on that commercial spot, in addition to showing the game, there’ll be a call to action. It would be something like, "Text 'Panda' to 5555 to get the Panda Pop game now in the Android or iTunes Store." The user texts in the short code and receives a single SMS text that says, "Click here to get your game or content."
What kind of user data are you collecting and do you have any conversion rates that you can share?
We’re keeping track as soon as you submit the first keyword and we also have the data around air time and impression levels and things that relate to the TV side. We can provide data from the initial touch point, the commercial, to downloading your app. It’s too early for us to reveal the conversion rates yet, but we’re seeing positive results.
Which app developers are you working with and are any of these campaigns live yet?
We have several live campaigns. We’re working with King.com, Wooga, SGN and Gree and several major television networks. We’re also speaking with some traditional marketers in addition to app developers about things like producing exclusive content that users can access by texting a keyword.
Do these campaigns include any retargeting opportunities?
On the mobile ad-serving side within our technology, there is a display advertising capability that can do that but it’s not yet tied to television. We’re helping clients with their branding and exposure on specific networks and retargeting capabilities are part of our road map for this year.
Are you also working on a programmatic buying strategy?
We do have programmatic capabilities on the mobile side, but on the TV front, we’re working directly with the networks and channels themselves and it’s not yet in the programmatic space. That would be further down the road from a one-year road map but it is something we’ve talked about. When you’re working with television, one of the big barriers to entry is that “how does it work?” component. So to be able to run commercial spots in a way where we can test the market and then optimize those specific commercial placements, we do it all direct.
How many people work at Motility and who is your parent company?
Within Motility, we’re getting close to 30 employees. Our parent company is Freenet, a German telecommunications company that just acquired Jesta Digital [a private equity firm that created and funded Motility Ads]. ActivateTV is available in the US now and we’ll be launching in Germany, the UK and Canada in the near future.
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