IAB Fit For Purpose Research


Research from IAB UK and Differentology that looked at the best ways to advertise to people on smartphones. The study revealed that ads optimised for smartphone devices can shift brand metrics and can increase positive perceptions, such as that of the brand being viewed as more premium and more trusted.

IAB UK and Differentology compared consumer opinions of standard (non-optimised) and bespoke (smartphone optimised) creatives using a nat rep smartphone survey, in-depth interviews and facial coding, in order to find out whether people notice when smartphone ads are not fit for purpose, as well as to uncover the risks of not optimising and benefits of doing so.

The study revealed that people overwhelmingly want an ad-funded internet – 84% of UK adults prefer to access online content for free in exchange for viewing ads as opposed to paying for an ad-free experience.  

The study also demonstrated the risk for advertisers that don’t optimise ads for smartphone, and found that 78% of UK adults are annoyed by ads that aren’t tailored for their smartphone device.

When testing optimised and non-optimised assets, the study found a statistically significant percentage increase in several key brand metrics including preference (+44%), brand consideration (+56%), likelihood to find out more (+50%), trust (+33%) and perception of premium (+21%) for the smartphone-optimised ads.

To help ad creators maximise their chance of getting creative fit for smartphone, the IAB UK recommends the following guidelines when developing smartphone ads:

  • Think about how the ad will be executed on a smartphone at the onset of the creative process

  • Include brand messaging upfront from the start of the ad

  • Test ads on different screen sizes to ensure text and imagery are clear

Fit For Purpose Research

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