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

Trends in Mobile Marketing

By: Maheshwari Zala

Do you know that 2015 looks to be the turning point in mobile marketing? Mobile marketing campaigns will account for almost 50% of digital marketing dollars by the end of 2015. One commonly cited forecast suggests that mobile gadgets could be the focus of 72% of all digital ad spending by 2019. eMarketer projects 50% growth this year, which will bring mobile ad spending to almost $29 billion. Everyone is becoming mobile dominant for a very profound reason: most consumers now spend more time peering at mobile screens than ones on their desktops. It makes the marketing campaigns on smartphones simpler and easier.

Three trends in mobile marketing are:

1.      Mobile ads are driving in-store and online sales

Marketers working with San Francisco-based audience intelligence firm Ninth Decimal recorded an 80% increase in store visits on the first day of many mobile campaigns. Its clients include American Express, Comcast, Kraft, Microsoft, Starbucks, Target and Toyota. Mobile impressions to offline sales gave higher returns for marketers from fewer mobile eyeballs, which was unexpected by marketers. It was a myth that consumers would not make purchases on mobile phones or tablets. Criteo, a software company that specializes in “performance advertising” across mobile devices and desktop browsers, is seeing a spike in transactions on smartphones, as screens get bigger. Mollie Spilman, Criteo’s chief revenue officer said that, “the next six months, their clients will see a much larger number of ecommerce sales coming from phones”. However, it is a myth that consumer’s purchase only low ticket items through their phones.

  1. Need to be found in application

Generally people use their mobile devices to check email, grab their digital wallet, search for a local business, or consult a mobile app for information. Google calls these “micro-moments”. Here marketers will have a very small opportunity to pull up their advertisements. Marketer needs focus wherever there is consumer traffic. Just being present in a browser will not work out; they need to be found in applications, too, as attention spans are shorter.

  1. Ad-blocking in mobile world

Adobe and PageFair have published a 2015 ad-blocking report and the results will make marketers re-think where the industry is going and its effect on mobile marketing. In the report they drill into geographic detail, providing per-country and per-state information on ad block usage rates, as well as monthly active user counts. It shows that ad blocking has continued its fast growth not only on desktop computers, it also it has leaped onto mobile in Asia; ad blocking has also recently launched on iOS on September 8, 2015. Ad blocking is estimated to cost publishers nearly $22 billion during 2015. Moreover, there are now 198 million active ad-block users around the world. Ad blocking grew by 41% globally in the last 12 months and US ad blocking grew by 48% to reach 45 million active users in the 12 months up to June 2015.

Ad Blocking Penetration Rates

Monthly Active Ad Blocking Users

Ad blocking is an issue marketers are worried about. Mobile ad-blocking may seem like a dire warning, but it could actually prove to be more of a hint for what brands and agencies need to be looking at now to prepare for tomorrow. Despite the fact that consumers always want to go ad free, do you think they will do so by paying out of their own pockets?


  • Clancy, Heather. “3 Reasons This Is a Breakthrough Year for Mobile Marketing.” Fortune 3 Reasons This Is a Breakthrough Year for Mobile Marketing Comments. GreenTechLady, 27 July 2015. Web. 1 Nov. 2015.
  • Williams, Ben. “Adblock Plus and (a Little) More.” First Official Ad Blocker for IOS Launches Today; Ditto for Android. 9 Aug. 2015. Web. 1 Nov. 2015.
  • Hargrave, Sean. “Do Huge Ad-Blocking Numbers Matter In A Mobile World?” 11 Aug. 2015. Web. 1 Nov. 2015.
  • “The 2015 Ad Blocking Report.” Inside PageFair. PageFairTeam, 10 Aug. 2015. Web. 1 Nov. 2015.