Couch potato tablet users lap up video ads

The effectiveness of video pre-roll ads on tablets is far superior to its performance on PCs, a study from InMobi and MobExt has found.

With tablet penetration forecast to reach 40% by the end of the year and tablet web usage growing at an unprecedented rate, the study highlights the lean-back nature of users and popular after work consumption occasion as factors delivering a more engaged audience to video ads.

Head of marketing at mobile ad network InMobi, Marc Fine, says advertisers are finding pre-roll video ads on tablets “incredibly effective”, particularly when hyperlinks are embedded into the video for consumers to act on calls to action. “Consumers are much more open and receptive to pre-roll ads on tablets because it is a lean-back experience,” he says. Pre-roll ads on PCs (desktops and laptops), on the other hand, fall prey to lean-forward behaviour which often sees the consumer skip the ad or open another tab while the ad plays.

The key on tablets, Fine says, is to match the ad format to the content type, for example running short rather than long spots preceding short video clips, and getting the context right.

Tablets are most commonly used in the home after 6pm at night, and second screen behaviour among Australians is common with 59% supplementing TV with tablet use. The device is used in equal measure for entertainment and life administration, the study found.

Its strength for delivering rich media content sees 80% of users accessing video content and 78% playing games. News and social media apps are also highly popular among users, opening up opportunities for in-app advertising, which Fine says is also proving highly effective.

With web tablet inventory also starting to flow, predominantly from overseas currently but increasingly from local sources, Fine advises media planners to treat the device as a separate medium rather than lumping it in with digital offers.

“Tablets should be considered as a new device to reach consumers during the evening period when they’re in their lean back mode and more receptive to watching advertising,” Fine adds.

Erfan Djazmi, director at media planner MediaCom, seconds Fine’s sentiments, adding the use of the same creative elements across multiple screens can deliver a strong ‘media multiplier effect’ for brands. “Mobile and tablet are key components to a multi-screen approach particularly as they are commonly consumed in parallel to traditional media channels such as TV,” Djazmi says. Tablets can drive dwindling engagement with traditional TV advertising back up when used as a multi-screen approach, Djazmi adds.

The study also found that the ease of content access on tablets is impacting on the use of offline avenues among its fanbois, with one in three reading hard copy books less, around one in four consumer offline newspaper, magazine or TV content less, and 16% of shopping less in physical stores since buying a tablet.

Around three in five users have made a purchase on their tablet from home with the device at its most powerful during the awareness and buying stages of the purchase cycle, while smartphones are referred to more for research and engaging with user-generated content.

 

InMobi’s and MobExt’s study into how consumers are using their tablets was conducted between January and April with a sample of over 600 Australians.