Mobile Matters: VivaKI Study Recommends Three Best Ad Models for Tablets

One out of four Americans is a tablet user. New research by VivaKI reveals the ad formats that users like best.

Editor’s note: “Mobile Matters” is our ongoing series where we look at top issues, challenges, and opportunities in the fast-moving world of mobile marketing.

It’s hard to believe the iPad, the tablet that started it all, launched just three years ago. Today, one out of four Americans is a tablet user, and tablets are said to be the fastest-growing innovation in history, outpacing the PC, radio, and even the car (see chart). Researchers from VivaKI saw early on that tablets offered new opportunities in digital marketing and launched a 14-month study into it. The study's results were just released and include recommendations for the three most-effective ad formats.

First , here’s a little background. The research involved 26 companies, including major advertisers and publishers (including Yahoo!). Some 37 ad models were tested with 20 million consumers, or one-third of the total tablet market in the U.S. The research spotlighted three ad formats as most effective and “liked” by tablet users. Check them out after the jump.

Banner to full page: This ad unit is similar to a standard Web banner, but users can expand it to a full-screen, interactive ad that can increase viewer engagement. In the VivaKI study, this ad format scored 4% higher in ad recall than the survey benchmark, and 11% higher in ad liking.

Yahoo!’s version of this ad format is called an “Elevation Ad,” which expands from a 300x250 ad to a full page that can include video features and social integration to drive more user interaction and deeper engagement. We’ve seen elevation ads score double the interaction rate of an average tablet ad and achieve an average user interaction time of 45 seconds. See an example of a Yahoo! elevation ad at the end of the post.

Pre-roll video with overlay: This format goes beyond the passive ad experience of typical pre-roll video to let users engage more deeply through additional videos, games, social media and more, without forcing the user to leave the video player. This ad format scored 5% higher in ad liking and 20% higher in ad recall than the benchmark.

Rich media interstitial: This full-screen interstitial unit brought deeper levels of consumer engagement by tapping into the full visual potential of the tablet. VivaKI calls it the “print ad of the tablet age.” This format scored 5% higher in ad recall and 6% higher in ad liking than the benchmark.

Here are more key findings from the study:

Options are good: The study showed that when tablet users were given more opportunities to interact, they engaged more. For instance, the banner-to-full-page ad format scored 127% lift in engagement over its benchmark, and the rich media interstitial bested its benchmark by 88%.

Ads should “fit” the format: The number-one reason for users spending less time looking at tablet ads is the perception that those ads weren’t designed for a tablet platform.

To check out the full study, visit the VivaKI site. For more information on Yahoo! Mobile solutions, contact your account representative.

First graphic: Yahoo! Elevation Ad format with 300x250 ad for Las Vegas on the right.

Second graphic: Clicking on the 300x250 ad expands into the full-page ad with more options for consumer interaction.