Mobile rich media ads saw an average engagement rate of 12.8% in Q2 2012, according to a September 2012 report from Celtra that analyzed 60 campaigns across 4 industry verticals. Engagement rates were by far the highest in the financial vertical (21.5%), although both retail (14.3%) and entertainment (12.1%) also saw double-digit engagement rates, with auto (9.9%) close behind.
These findings support recent research from Opera Advertising, which reported in July that advertisers on its mobile platform were seeing higher engagement rates and dwell times from rich media units, and were shifting their focus accordingly. While in January, HTML5 and video combined comprised 34% of executions, by June, they accounted for 64%.
Meanwhile, according to Celtra, the 4 verticals studied had different success when looking solely at video ad engagement rates. The financial vertical led again with a 21.5% engagement rate, which Celtra attributes to the fact that video is typically the primary or only feature in those ads. The auto vertical saw the next-highest rate (12.7%), though, closely followed by entertainment (12.4%), with retail (9.6%) bringing up the rear.
Auto’s higher performance in this area is also reflected in an October report [pdf] from SAY Media in conjunction with comScore, which revealed that for auto mobile campaigns, the inclusion of a video increased time spent by 28% compared to units without a video.
Direct-Response CTR Highest For Finance, Retail Verticals
The Celtra study also measured click-through rates on direct response ads, finding them to be highest in the finance vertical (7.9%), with retail a close second (7.4%). Retailers benefited from high CTRs on links to stores, from which consumers could complete a purchase. Entertainment had a relatively low CTR of 3.1%, but, that may be due to many of these ads being self-contained and used to build brand awareness, rather than involving some call to action. The same could be true of automotive video ads, with their 2.6% CTR.
Verticals Find Success With Specific Features
Each vertical has an ad feature that proves particularly strong in driving engagement. In retail, it is branding and presentation (e.g. product catalogs), with a 25.1% rate. For entertainment, it is gaming, with 16.6% engagement. The appeal of gaming is that it allows deeper engagement beyond, for example, video trailers and image galleries. In the finance vertical the most effective features are location-based, such as ATM or branch locators, with 7.2% engagement. Location-based features (used to find car dealerships, for example) also lead in the auto vertical, with an engagement rate of 4.7%.
- Celtra reports that users engage with social media via mobile ads and sharing branded content. 8.7% share via Facebook and 12.6% via Twitter.
- Direct response ads were the most-used in each vertical, constituting 100% of auto ads, 77% of entertainment ads, 71% of finance ads, and 50% of retail ads. The second-most popular feature was video for the auto (85%), entertainment (58%), and finance (43%) verticals, and social media (40%) for the retail vertical.
- Among the ad formats observed, the most popular format was the expandable banners, at 67% share, with the remaining third split between interstitials (21%) and animated banners (12%).
- iOS accounted for 55% of mobile rich media ads and Android 45%, though that gap appears to be narrowing over time.
About The Data: Celtra in Q2 2012 measured baseline ad performance and engagement data from nearly 60 handset and tablet campaigns that span the automotive, entertainment, finance and retail industries.