Mobile advertising network Greystripe caters to the high-end of the mobile spectrum. You won’t see it indulging in low-tech SMS campaigns… or even low tech banner ad campaigns. Greystripe specialises in rich media display ads with clickable links, moving parts and (occasionally) entire games embedded in them. Today, it claims that over the last two months, these flashier ads have been far outperforming regular static banner ads.
What’s the story?
Up until quite recently, Greystripe was an in-application advertiser. It tread the line between creating iPhone apps that were advertisements (the jargon “advergaming” applies here), and placing banner ads in other developers applications. As mentioned, these banner ads didn’t just contain a simple image that linked through to another site. They were animated, and were capable of enough complexity to that advertisers could place an ad that was essentially another application (or “widget” in this case, I guess).
But Greystripe now also serves all of its mobile ad formats over the mobile web (see our report). Claiming that the mobile web is re-emerging as a more complex, user-friendly area, Greystripe now publishes ads on mobile websites including Yellowpages.com, Dictionary.com and CollegeHumor.com
What’s the news?
While Greystripe only publicly announced its web advertising service two weeks ago, it has been running in beta for two months. So Greystripe has published a single data point it has gathered in that time:
Large, rich-media ads are attracting 36% more CTR than standard static ads
What we think?
Unfortunately for mobile advertisers, CTR is King on mobile. Because the interface is completely touch-based you can’t measure roll-overs, or any other useful metric that doesn’t involve a direct click. That having been said, I do regard the increasing popularity of mobile display as a function of smartphones. Banner ads really don’t work on feature – imagine a little color-screen Nokia trying to handle big, complex banners with flashy moving bits.
But I have to wonder how much of this is a novelty factor. All things considered, it’s still fairly new for people to get high-media ads served on their mobile devices. It’s shiny. But as mobile browsers become more capable and complex, and mobile internet speeds increase, the experience of using them will become much more familiar – closer to the on-line web that we’re all so familiar with already. And big flash ads with moving parts are incredibly ignorable on the full web. There’s no reason to believe they won’t become so on mobile as well.