Advertisers and publishers have no choice but to go “LEAN” — lightweight, encrypted, AdChoices-supported and non-invasive.
Why? There’s the recent founding of the Coalition for Better Ads and the updates to the IAB LEAN standards. There’s ad blocking and the fact that people don’t want to use their mobile data for advertisements. There’s Google announcing it will begin to enforce new policies, starting in January 2017, in which publishers using ad formats that interfere with the user experience, such as pop-ups and standalone interstitials, will be penalized with lower Google rankings. Plus, Google charges advertisers more for serving “heavy” ads.
Speeding up load time doesn’t just improve the ad experience for consumers — it dramatically affects ad viewability, according to new research from Thunder, a programmatic creative platform (disclosure: my company).
The data show that the lightest ads have the highest viewability, at 52 percent to 70 percent. In ads under 50KB, there is a 3 percent drop in view rates for each 10KB after the initial 10KB. That is followed by a 0.5 to 1 percent drop in view rate per extra 10KB beyond that. Average viewability bottoms out at around 25 percent in the 150–200KB range — the IAB recommended maximum.
All of this has created an emphasis on creating consumer-friendly ads with lighter file load sizes and fewer server calls. Programmatic advertising now accounts for more than two-thirds of all digital display ad spending in the US, but since it calls for multiple ad versions, creative best practices aren’t as widely known or easily executed.
Here are five tips for creating effective LEAN ads, particularly for programmatic creative executions.
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