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Perspective | Digital advertising gets 'Appified'!

Advertising has come a long way and there has been a lot of buzz especially in the mobile-advertising space. Looking at the growth and transformation of the advertising industry off-late, a lot of players in the advertising industry are seen adopting newer and evolved platforms with respect to gain customer attention. The evolution and conversion is quite evident.

While television advertising is on a bumper journey as TRAI enforces a 12-minute cap on advertising per hour of programming on all channels, advertisers are accelerating their shift from TV to digital medium. A lot of marketers are seen using digital media to reach out to their users and that too in a much differentiated way. There has been a significant shift in budget allocation as well, as companies dealing with consumer goods, were seen spending over 10% of their total ad budgets on digital advertising in 2013, as opposed to less than 5% in 2014. As user / consumers spend maximum time with the ‘partner – mobile’ and the fact that digital platform does not just signify emails or web, the outreach is set to go beyond to mobile devices. Findings by industry research companies suggest that in line with this trend, online advertising market in India is projected to reach Rs 2,938 crore by March 2014.

Being a part of the digital savvy industry, directly or indirectly, we all know that the digital media platforms are somewhat cluttered with innovative user preferences and supplies. However, these demographics mentioned above have invited eyeballs towards In-App advertising. The term is catching on to qualitative utilization attention while users are using an app. Interestingly, In-App advertising does not expect a user to go inside an application, but the application is enabled to present information and advertisement at the same time, in a consolidated manner. This platform not only opens a wide market for mobile apps for driving their revenues but is also helping them to reach out to their audiences in masses. While all of this sounds lucrative and appropriate, it’s imperative for marketers to identify the right partner and follow the consumers’ usage pattern.  

Adgully spoke to industry stalwarts like Nitesh Kripalani, Executive Vice-President – New Media, Business Development and Digital/Syndication at Sony Entertainment Network; Anuj Kumar, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Ripple, Affle Group; Nilay Arora, VP Marketing & Business Development 10c India; Krishnadeep Baruah, Senior Director, Marketing, Asia Pacific, BlackBerry and Narayan Murthy Ivaturi, Director – Global Sales & Strategy, Vserv.Mobi with an aim to understand the marketers’ and agencies’ take on the on-going ‘in-app advertising’ space off-lately.

Nitesh Kripalani expressing his views said, “With the increasing number of Mobile internet users and the growing application eco-system, the handheld device is emerging as a potent marketing tool. In-application advertising is catching up fast. For in-app campaigns to be really successful, the campaign has to be adopted to the device size and capability. Rich media ad units fare better than plain, simple old banner advertising. Video advertising is another major growth area in Mobile devices. At Sony LIV, we insert ads at any point in the on-demand video. Also, in-stream advertising in the LIVE stream of content is also building up quite fast.”

“Brands need to deliver compelling experiences on personal screens. Isolated outright intrusive communication will not bring out the desired outcomes/engagement,” Kriplani added.

“The shift from a dedicated TV viewer, to an engaged multi-screen user presents opportunities for marketers – it gives you real-time feedback, location and information about the users. One is able to target, profile and customize product offering, information and offer freebies using this information, thereby helping in brand building,” Kriplani adds.

Since there is a lot of buzz about in-app advertising, expressing his views in terms of business/revenues coming from this entire gamut, Krishnadeep Baruah said that the ‘In-app advertising’ space is quite beneficial for the marketers and will surely grow in the coming years. He says, “It gives the marketers a platform to reach out to their consumers directly and apart from marketers benefiting out of it is the user who can make a choice so as to what kind of content he/she would want to consume.”

Nilay Arora opined, “More than advertising it is about engagement 
these days. Online advertising and in-app advertising is something that is not really relevant these days. Consumer would want to engage and get involved rather than just look at the banners etc.”

Hence WeChat allows users connect with their favorite brands and celebrities through “Official Accounts”. “Brands, through their Official Accounts, can send their followers rich media content along with interactivity options such as getting customized personalized content, service and features. In case of Official Accounts, the user is never spammed and the interaction is always Opt-in. WeChat would continue to bring innovations to its multi-utility platform for Indian users to build an “All-In-One” experience,” Arora added. 

“The basic challenge that the brands would face here is that how they would assure that only the relevant content is being 

exposed,” Baruah added.

When asked about the brief that advertisers give you when they would like to place ads in different apps, Anuj Kumar, said, “Advertisers mostly focus on the audience they want to reach out to and how they could best engage with them. Thus the briefs are usually about audience profiling and intended campaign objectives. The translation of the briefs to actual apps where the ads get delivered is done by us through rigorous data analysis of user profiles, mobile media consumption data and many more parameters thus ensuring that the most optimum ad placements are delivered for the campaign.”

Narayan Murthy feels, “We cannot really generalize advertising as in-app or non-app. We have moved away from all this. Today banner ads on websites etc do not mean anything to the 

consumers. Who watches it? The lines are getting blurrier day by day when it comes to in-app advertising in terms of both capability and rendering issues. The world and the advertising space have evolved a lot from last year and as far as in-app advertising is concerned, though certain brands are gung-going about ut till now also but technically we all had overcome it last year only.”


“Everyone is becoming amplified today and a lot of content that is not available in the digital space but is available on apps but there is equally amount of content that is still available on the digital websites. So this phenomenon is over I believe,” Murthy added.  

In terms of the kind of creative and financial planning that goes into designing and creating ads on a platform like this, Kumar said, “The creative strategy is again driven by the campaign objectives and target audience. We at Ripple have built significant technologies and best practices to help deliver engaging rich media, video or native ad experiences based on campaign objectives. As the media optimisations in Ripple are also driven through our 'objective based campaign delivery' algorithms the end results delivered on campaigns would usually get us recurring and happy customers.”

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