I’m going out on a limb here – but the current focus on ad effectiveness has resulted in a lack of creativity.

For me, this is one of the fundamental reasons why people have developed a “blind-eye” when it comes to banners or other online ad formats. Things are changing in mobile and unlike before, a well-placed ad at the right time is sometimes not enough to entice and engage a user (in fact, it’s been reported that 60% of mobile banner ad clicks are accidental).

But I wouldn’t jump to blame marketers for this switch. The digital world has drastically evolved to allow us to track every single interaction a user makes on their mobile, or desktop. And this “over-tracking” combined with ads format optimization had made ads effective but somewhat boring.

Today, many people out there care more about CTR or CR than the emotional impact an ad might have on users. However, with the advent of playable and interactive ads, some companies have been able to step up and combine the world of performance and effectiveness with creativity, resulting in some quite amazing work. At Glispa, we’ve developed a flexible ad studio that makes this creative process much easier, and we’re using this with our biggest clients.

Earlier this year, for example, my colleague Raunak Miranda wrote about the value of interactivity when it comes to developing successful ads. On the back of Netflix’s Bandersnatch episode of Black Mirror, we’re starting to see just how valuable this can be when looking to boost user engagement on mobile – study results show that even if people don’t click on a video ad online, the ability to interact makes it 32% more memorable compared to non-interactive ads.

The beauty, and appeal, of playable and interactive ads is that they let users to choose whether they want to engage with them. With this format, users can decide whether or not they are interested in a brand very quickly. However, despite the positive impact on user experience, playable ads are still struggling to get more attention from marketers.

There are different reasons for this. First of all, the word “playable” is sometimes misunderstood within the non-gaming industry. Many marketers still think that, because their brand has nothing to do with games, playable ads don’t suite their brand identity. On top of that, cost and production time are also a major concern for many marketers as they don’t necessarily see the value in investing in the format. But, as more companies outside of the gaming space experiment, we should start seeing greater adoption.

E-commerce is where the ball has already started rolling here. Companies in this space are proving that playables and interactive ads are no longer exclusive to the gaming sector. They’re taking advantage of this format to combine existing promotional strategies with things that catch people’s attention and tell a story, from simple click and drag mini-games to big budget interact videos. This is most evident around big holidays such as Ramadan, 11/11 and 12/12.

With creativity set to make a comeback, marketers will have to change the way they look at the performance marketing world. Data and analysis will still be relevant but as the “promotional noise” increases, brands will need to alter the way they communicate with users.

For this reason, I believe we’ll start to see more direct collaboration between publishers and brands to create personalized experiences for users, rather than relying on the traditional ad slots. Performance marketing won’t be disappearing any time soon, that’s for sure.

If you want to read more about why creativity matters in the mobile age – and how you can increase performance with it, check out our whitepaper.

Zuar Salazar

Head of Sales, EMEA | Glispa

Zuar has over six years of experience in the mobile industry and is leading the Sales team in EMEA. He specializes in helping partners pick the right growth strategies to overcome the challenges of this continuously changing ecosystem while acquiring users and generating revenue for their apps. He is known as a great leader whose sympathy and positive attitude can cheer up everyone around him. In his free time he loves running in the different parks of Berlin with his dog Bishuk.

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