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Awareness vs. Bot Fraud: How to Win the Mobile Gaming Ad War

Awareness is the key to video ad conversions and ensures your impressions are real;

not plagued by bot fraud.

Most people are familiar with the traditional television ad reel. For roughly every 8 minutes of programming, 120 seconds of uninterrupted and unskippable commercials are played. Unless the viewer flips the channel and risks missing part of their favorite show, or uses the time for a much-needed bathroom break, they are “forced” to view each commercial and become aware of the various offerings brands are marketing to them, from the comfort of their couches.

But not all traditions are meant to withstand the test of time. These days, viewers are sick and tired of being marketed to at regular, lengthy intervals. And with technological advances enabling online streaming and downloading of television shows and movies, they no longer have to. They can simply subscribe to a digital platform that is ad-free, like Netflix or VOD, or click on the “skip” button to head straight to the next scene.

In stating that viewers are turning their attention away from traditional television in order to avoid “pesky” commercials, we by no means insinuate that video ads have gone the way of the dodo. Today, advertising online is far more effectivethan TV ads ever were, as they create actionable brand awareness that drives immediate clicks-to-action. And whether you’re among the 20% who believe that completed views is the most important metric for video ad success, the 18% who insist it’s conversions, or the 17% who swear it’s brand lift, it’s clear that by advertising where viewers already are (online), your video ads are poised to drive significant awareness and returns for your brand.

The video ad experience is going mobile

These days, more and more time online is being spent on mobile devices, due to user demands to consume content, watch shows and play games whenever and wherever they see fit. And, as it is predicted that mobile will account for 72 percent of the growth in spending from video ads over the next five years, savvy video advertisers are rightfully jumping on this trend and allocating their ad budgets accordingly.

With over 7.7 billion mobile devices in use, compared to just 2 billion PCs, 2018 saw mobile ad spends exceed TV advertising budgets around the world, including in the US and UK, for the first time. Over the course of those 12 months, $38.9 billion was reportedly spent on mobile ads, with 34% growth expected to take the annual mobile ad spend to $64.1 billion, globally, by 2020.

But wait! The mobile advertising world is plagued by bot fraud

With this shift towards mobile viewing and gaming, comes a new threat the television advertising industry never experienced: bot fraud. It is estimated that global advertisers lost $6.3 billion to bot fraud in 2015 and that this number has only continued to rise. This is because bots hijack browsers and pretend to be real users, clicking on ads to generate “fake” impressions that will never lead to a sale. The result: advertisers are tricked into thinking that their campaigns are more successful than they actually are, and are forced to pay for click-throughs or ad impressions on a PPC ad that was never presented to a potential human customer.

How can you successfully go mobile with your video ads?

Wage war on bots — design awareness video ads with mobile in mind

To thwart even the most determined bots and make significant impressions on your video ad viewers, you need to meet five essential criteria:

A focus on awareness — Ads that engage and teach about your brand

Mobile responsiveness — Ads that are clear and not at all overwhelming when viewed from a small screen

The six-second ad — Ads that are short, to the point and unskippable.

Maximum measurability — Technological tools that analyze key metrics to help you measure the brand awareness your ads generate: impressions, customer engagement, reach, frequency, quality of visits, etc.

Selection of a captive audience — Find the untapped market that is not plagued by mobile ad overload and may even be able to be incentivized to view awareness ads without feeling that their user or viewer experience has been significantly harmed.

Insert awareness into the gaming world for a win!

The mobile gaming world is an untapped, highly measurable market comprised of engaged players willing to view your ads in exchange for an in-game reward (i.e virtual, at no extra cost to your brand) — and should, therefore, be presented with awareness ads. These ads are more favorably positioned to target users when they are ready and willing to hear about your brand and its offering, so that they stay in the game, but with your brand’s messaging in their awareness. And, as awareness ads cannot be hacked by bots, or skipped by impatient gamers, they are ideal for increasing your brand awareness without risking spending money on “fake” click-throughs and impressions. Use your mobile game video ads to tease, amplify or echo marketing messages from longer materials published on other channels (website, blog, YouTube, etc.) and watch as awareness beats out the bots for a win in the gaming world, every time.

By Sapir Dror.

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