August 23, 2009


By Delynn Ho, Regional Director, Southeast Asia 

One of the most common misperceptions about mobile advertising -- among ad agencies and brands -- is that you need to craft an entirely new campaign to fit the mobile medium and properly target mobile consumers.

But the truth is it's not hard at all to tweak your existing collateral for viewing on mobile devices. The Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) is running ads across the BuzzCity Advertising Network to increase the agency's profile, raise awareness of drug trafficking and engage the Thai public in a campaign to help protect their own communities. The mobile ads are part of an integrated campaign that includes outdoor billboards, radio, TV and the internet.

The ONCB is new to mobile, though, and does not have a mobile website. 

So ad agency Zed Digital, which is running the campaign, simply took ONCB's TV ad and shrunk it to fit on mobile. It also created a series of graphic ad banners (similar to those used in its internet campaign) and purchased banner space for them to appear across the mobile internet.

Mobile surfers who click on the banner are taken to a landing page and from there, users can download ONCB's video and view it on their phone.

The landing page was created with BuzzCity's advertising tools.

Although the mobile portion of this integrated campaign had a modest budget, the ONCB banners received 10,000 daily exposures. ONCB's average click-through rate is about 0.5%. The network average in Thailand is 1.2%.

Zed Digital purchased the ads on a CPM model, because CPM (Cost Per Thousand views) provides the agency with a consistent measure to quantify the results of the campaign across the different media (ie the ads received xxx views on TV, xxx views on mobile, etc.). 

The lessons for brands and advertisers here are clear:

  1. You don't need to create a mobile campaign from scratch.
  2. You don't need to build a mobile website. You can use BuzzCity's tools to create a landing page that acts as your mobile website.
  3. It's easy for agencies to quantify the campaign results, using a metric which enables an “apples-to-apples” comparison.
  4. If a government agency is hip and smart enough to make mobile a fundamental component of a marketing campaign, shouldn't every corporate being doing it too?
  5. You don't need to spend a lot of money to advertise on mobile.

There are a few ways though in which ONCB could improve the effectiveness of this campaign, ie five tips I would give clients on how to build their own integrated mobile campaigns:

  1. Use both text and graphic banners. Some phones can not view the graphics.
  2. Create multiple banners, not just one or two. Employ all the banners in the beginning of the campaign, see which ones work best and then tweak the campaign accordingly.
  3.  Use both CPM (Cost Per Thousand views) and CPC (Cost Per Click) for your mobile buys.

ONCB has purchased ads using just CPM. They wanted to ensure that their banners are viewed 10,000 times a day and the only way to guarantee a number of impressions is with a CPM buy. With CPM, though, we generally start tracking the number of impressions in the morning, from 6am onwards. As soon as you hit the targetted figure, that's it for the day. So the banners may only be seen for a few hours in the morning, but rarely if ever in the afternoon or night.With CPC – and a competitive cost-per-click bid - -advertisers ensure that their banners are served on the best mobile sites.

You can also use time targeting to more easily spread viewing throughout the day. With CPC, you can also still control your costs, but if you bid low, you may not actually use your entire budget (as higher bids are distributed first).

I'll be sharing a few more case studies in the weeks ahead. If you have questions, feel free to contact me. And in the meantime, get the most out of your existing collateral - make mobile an integral part of your ad mix!