Mobile Video Advertising and YouTube

By: Lauren Maiuri

Digital advertising has opened up new opportunities for brands to reach out and connect with their target audience. The most prominent issue with digital advertising today is how, when, and where to reach out to consumers in the digital world. A trend that has been growing at a rapid rate is mobile video advertising. Mobile video advertising is the fastest growing digital advertising format. By 2018, mobile video ad revenue in the United States is expected to exceed $4.4 billion. This is partially due to the increasing popularity of mobile video viewing. Between 2012 and 2013, smartphone and tablet video consumption grew 400 percent, accounting for 30 percent of all online videos watched. Consumers are increasingly likely to watch videos on their smartphones due to faster 4G technology, and the popular large-screen phones.

Mobile video viewers are considered to be a “captive” audience. Most individuals actively avoid commercials whenever possible. For instance, when a commercial appears on TV, many people will turn to their phones as a distraction. Similarly, when a radio ad begins, most individuals prefer to change the station rather than listen to the ad. Mobile viewing captivates the audience because the user is already utilizing their smartphone, therefore it cannot be used as a distraction. Mobile video advertising leaves the user with two options, stop watching the video completely, or sit through the mobile ad. This gives mobile video ads the undivided attention of viewers who choose to continue watching.

YouTube is one of the top mobile video advertising networks, with an estimated 6 billion hours of video watched each month by at least 1 billion unique users. This makes YouTube an ideal place for businesses to place their mobile video ads. Each month, Adweek compiles a list of the ten most watched video advertisements on YouTube. For the month of October, Mattel’s “Imagine the Possibilities” ad for Barbie was number one with about 12.4 million views. The ad has 23,181 likes on its video page and only 610 dislikes. The video features five young girls pretending to be professionals in real world settings, and aims to promote the idea that girls can be anything they choose to be with a tagline of “When a girl plays with Barbie, she imagines everything she can become”. I found the ad to be adorable as well as entertaining, and gladly chose to watch it all the way through.

Ads such as the one described above are played before the YouTube video begins, and can usually be skipped after 30 seconds if the viewer desires. Video ads can be extremely frustrating to viewers at times; we live in a world where content is expected to be retrieved quickly and without delay. Although waiting 30 seconds for an advertisement to play does not seem too time consuming, there are many people who would choose to exit the video completely rather than sit through the ad.

In an attempt to avoid situations like this, YouTube now allows users to choose the types of ads they want to see. They can customize their google profiles and select categories or “interests” to control the types of ads that are delivered to them. These interests include things such as football, fitness, humor, fashion and haircare. YouTube hopes that by customizing ads to user interests, people will be more likely to watch the ad and less frustrated with its presence.

Overall, I feel as though mobile video ads are always going to frustrate viewers, even if the ad is relevant to their individual interests. Although some ads may be entertaining such as Barbie’s “Imagine the Possibilities”, it will never be ideal to have to sit through an ad before reaching the desired video content.

Works Cited

Dhanik, T. (2015, February 25). The 4 Digital Advertising Trends That Are Reshaping Advertising. Retrieved November 9, 2015, from

Nudd, T. (n.d.). The 10 Most Watched Ads on YouTube in October. Retrieved November 9, 2015, from

Is Mobile Advertising Dead?

By: Nick Pappalardo

With the introduction of Apple’s new iOS 9, there comes a new hidden feature. Apple’s newest update has software capable of blocking online mobile advertising content. This software is based off of Safari’s already existing content blocking capabilities on the Mac OSX operating system. This is not the first effort to block mobile advertisements though. Applications such as Crystal and Purify are available on the App Store, and offer the ability to block mobile advertisements. These apps also promise things such as decrease page load time as well as extended battery life, all from blocking mobile ads. However, this new software could significantly hurt mobile advertising revenue.

According to Google, there are now more searches on its browser using mobile devices and smartphones than on desktops. There is a convenience factor with mobile devices that allows users to look up a topic easily on the go rather than waiting to use a physical computer. However, desktops still account for 56% of all online sales. Smartphones produce three times more traffic than they do sales. This suggests that more people use smartphones to research products first, then use a desktop to purchase the actual item. All this increase in heavy mobile traffic has shifted advertisers to increase their mobile advertising spending. In 2015, mobile advertising spending will account for 49% of all advertising spending. This number is expected to increase in 2016 to well over 60%.

So why exactly do smartphone users hate mobile ads so much? According to research done at Dartmouth College, four out of ten mobile users say they don’t even notice mobile ads. 70% of people say they are “too busy” to even acknowledge mobile ads and do not retain any information they may provide. 54% of mobile users feel frustrated, while another 69% feel annoyed when a mobile ad disrupts their browsing. Mobile internet browsing seems to be based “on the go”. A study has shown that mobile browsing rarely exceeds 15 minutes, with most searches lasting only a few minutes.

So how do advertisers move traffic to their sites with this new trend of mobile ad-blocking? Many companies such as Eyeo, allow ads that align with their content to pass if they meet their “acceptable ad guidelines”. Other companies such as RevContent utilize a new form for advertising to drive traffic to advertisers’ websites. RevContent offers a “content recommendation widget” that provides products based on the content the user is viewing. This is a much less obtrusive way to advertise without disrupting the user’s browsing. Android also offers a unique way for users to see advertisements. If an Android user has the “Android Store” application downloaded, all Google searches will provide a button that says “Show In App,” which will then bring the user to the item in the store to allow for a faster shopping experience.

Apple is not 100% pure mobile ads though. Their “News” application will feature advertisements in it. However, these advertisements will be sold exclusively by Apple to advertisers that they deem to be acceptable. Although the future of mobile advertising is uncertain, it will be an uphill battle if companies follow Apple’s lead. Mobile advertising has become such a huge portion of advertising, and companies will need to find new, creative ways to drive traffic to sell their products.


The Communication Process Model and Cottage Cheese

By: Kimberly Martin

Communication is an important part of a marketer’s job, and it is important for them to understand the process it takes to deliver a message. If a marketer wants a campaign to be effective, they need to understand how communication, and the process that communication goes through from the sender to the receiver, works. In an article from Marketing Magazine titled, “Nordica Sees a Smooth Road Ahead for Cottage Cheese,” we can look at their message and how the communication process model can be applied.

First, I want to define the elements of the model, as defined in the class textbook. The elements that make up the communication process model are: the sender, the encoding process, message transmission, the decoding process, and the receiver. The model can also include a feedback loop and noise. The sender is the creator of the message or the company or brand the product belongs to. The encoding process is the sender transforming their message or product into a message that will be delivered to the receiver. Brands that have strong emotions associated with their brand have an easier time with the encoding process. These brands already have an existing image that consumers think of when they see their logo. Message Transmission is the channel in which a marketer decides to release the message on: television, radio, newspaper, magazine, Internet, etc. The decoding process is when the message is viewed by the receiver. The receiver will interpret the message they are seeing or hearing. The communication occurs when the receiver decodes the message. A challenge faced at this stage is that receivers can interpret the message in different ways based on the background and biases of the person. These different views result in selective perception. The receiver is the person intended to receive the communication. They are often the target market. A feedback loop allows for the receiver to communicate back and create two-way communication. The feedback loop allows the sender to get a reaction from the receiver. Noise is the distortion of a message at any point in the communication process. Noise can also cause an interference with a message.

A little background about the article (link to original article is posted below): Gay Lea Foods sells Nordica cottage cheese and they have discovered that 46% of the Canadian population eats cottage cheese, while the remaining 54% refuse to try it because of things like texture and appearance. They have come out with a smooth cottage cheese in hopes that it will get those people who do not like the texture to try it. The company is launching a series of digital ads that will appear on social media platforms. They will launch the second phase of the campaign by adding in print advertising. They have also created longer videos called “Cooking with Nordica Smooth” to show people recipes they could use the smooth cottage cheese for. Both the videos can be watch by clicking here.

Now to break down the article using the communication process model. The first element, the sender, would be Gay Lea Foods, but more specifically the brand Nordica. They are the source of the message. The encoding process is how Nordica is going to communicate the message or idea. In this case, the message they are trying to encode in this video is “all it takes is one tiny taste,” and they have used a video of a small bowl and small spoon with a normal sized hand to communicate the message. The next element is message transmission, and for Nordica, in the first phase of the campaign, this is social media. In the next phase, message transmission will be print ads. This is how the message will move from sender to the intended receiver, hopefully. The next phase, the decoding process, is how the intended receiver interprets the message. An issue Nordica could have with this phase is that 54% of people in Canada already have a reason why they refuse to try cottage cheese and are biased. The hope for Nordica is that people receive this message as a new cottage cheese that takes away some of the obstacles for why people do not eat it, and that if they just try one little bite they will like it. The receiver in this case is broad. They are hoping to reach those who are biased about cottage cheese, those that already like cottage cheese, and those that eat Greek yogurt, as Greek yogurt has stolen market share from cottage cheese. This article does not specifically say how they would get feedback from the receiver, but since it is being launched on social media you can assume they can read comments and posts the receiver writes and this could be a feedback loop. The last element of the process, noise, could be a factor on social media. There is a lot of content on social media that can make things blend in and be hard to see. If I was scrolling on Facebook, I am not sure a tiny bowl and spoon with a normal sized hand would catch my attention to watch the whole 15 second ad based on all of the other things on Facebook already. I think I would be more apt to watching their longer video about “Cooking with Nordica Smooth” as that would most likely be shared by a friend because they find the recipe interesting.

This process may seem simple enough, but it is an important process for a marketer to understand. They need to understand how their message travels from them to the receiver and how it could be distorted, so they can create content that can be communicated clearly and effectively. If you do not think about how your message can be decoded by someone, they could get the wrong idea about the message you are trying to send or the product you are advertising. A message could mean many different things to people especially with selective perception coming in to play. A marketer should understand different views or biases of the receivers and make sure the message will come across as clearly as possible to everyone.


Use of Consumers’ Browsing Data for Dynamic Retargeting

By: Bharat Mahajan

Thanks to the digital revolution, and companies like, Amazon, Kayak and Trip Adviser, a vast majority of customers are using the Internet to research and purchase their goods. On the one hand, this has made customers’ shopping easy; on the other hand, the advancement in technology has given companies all kind of tools to gather data about their targeted consumers. Today, data is gathered through a company’s website, as well as other websites. As the data overflows, it is very important for marketers  to understand and use it to have maximum impact.

Anja Lambrecht & Catheine Tucker, in their paper ‘When does Retargeting Work? Information Specificity in Online Advertising,’ discuss the marketing strategy of gathering consumers’ browsing data from a company’s website and using that data to show consumers personalized advertisements on external websites. This is also known as Dynamic Targeting. The general working principle of dynamic targeting is that when a consumer views a product on company’s website, the company sets a cookie on the consumer’s computer to collect data about consumer’s subsequent browsing behavior. If the consumer visits an external website where the company is advertising, the cookie would trigger an advertisement specific to that customer for the product he/she was browsing earlier.

Earlier work – by researchers like Hoffman, Novak, Criteo etc. – which is referenced in this paper, reports that the personalized retargeted ads are more effective than generic ads. However, Lambrecht & Tucker argue that the research so far could not determine if consumers are always receptive to these very specific advertisements, or if their response is based on their product related knowledge.

The field study conducted by Lambrecht and Tucker concentrated on a travel website, focused on beach vacations, and studied the effects of generic and dynamic retargeting. While the generic image showed a standard beach-type holiday, the dynamic retargeted ads displayed the hotel that was previously browsed by that custom on the firm’s website. Alongside, three similar hotels were recommended. The objective was to understand whether and when the data gathered from browsing history should be used for generating consumer specific advertisements.

The results showed that dynamic retargeting only worked when the consumers had a well-defined product preference and were actively researching the product. The generic advertisement got a better response when the consumer lacked well-defined product preference or if they were still evaluating the product alternatives, as it appealed broadly to their needs. To better understand whether or not the consumer had a well-defined product preference, Lambrecht and Tucker argued that if the consumer is reading the reviews the probability is high that he/she is actively researching the product (and, thus, dynamic retargeting might be a better option).

The research performed by Lambrecht and Tucker not only highlights the technological advances in consumer data collection that are available today but also emphasizes how that data can be stored, analyzed, and processed to get the best results. The results also show that the consumer data, if not used without better understanding the consumer, could cause ill effects on the targeted consumer, just like using dynamic retargeting without knowing if the consumer has a well-defined product preference, or not, could be detrimental to overall marketing efforts.

References: Anja Lambrecht and Catherine Tucker (2013) When Does Retargeting Work? Information Specificity in Online Advertising. Journal of Marketing Research: October 2013, Vol. 50, No. 5, pp. 561-576