As mobile traffic grows, the stakes for advertisers also climb. This is especially true for a publisher like Time Inc., where mobile traffic increased 35% in six short months - from 39 million unique views in December to 53 million unique views in June.
As more traffic shifts to mobile, “being able to provide more value in the mobile space is key right now. With mobile, a client can have more than one opportunity to reach that user, and there is a lot of value there,” said Derek Gatts, associate director of advertising operations for Time Inc.
Recently, there was a problem. Time Inc. properties People and Entertainment Weekly (EW) wanted to enable entertainment clients to create, video-centric ad campaigns, but Apple’s iOS only allows autoplay video ads in-app, not on the mobile web.
“It’s a matter of engagement,” Gatts said “Immediately streaming a video without asking our user to leave the site automatically grabs their attention.”
The People and EW teams used a custom video player that was part of Celtra’s cross-screen rich media creation and measurement platform to bypass the iOS native player and autostream the video in line with editorial content.
Time Inc. first tested the new technology with FOX, which ran a three-day campaign timed to the San Diego Comic-Con to promote the fall TV series “Gotham.” Instead of running the full video experience on desktop and a static experience for tablet and mobile, viewers could watch the video without launching a separate player. As a result, FOX saw 8x lift in engagement its cross-channel “Gotham” campaign, compared to a traditional, desktop-only campaign. Over three days, the campaign racked up 5.6 million video plays and 325,000 minutes of video consumption.
“Celtra was able to control the start of video until the ad was almost in view. Viewability is very important to us, and all our benchmarks are above industry averages,” Gatts said.
Celtra, which began as a mobile company, is expanding its capabilities to desktop to enable true multiplatform campaigns.
And for People and EW, Gatts expects to create more custom units for clients. One has already signed up for ad units timed to the Emmys. “We can build out custom executions that are scalable across devices. It can also be as simple as assisting an advertiser in re-purposing their Flash billboard to run that cross-platform.”
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