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TV advertising on the rise for apps


heroes charge
Saleha Riaz

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As the market for apps becomes more and more competitive, marketers are increasingly looking to TV to promote products, leading to “dramatic” changes in advertising strategies, Volker Dressel, CEO of marketing agency Quaid Media, said at a briefing in London this morning.

For starters, Candy Crush maker King plans to have 50,000 TV spots this year, and while last year’s Super Bowl, seen as the ultimate spot for ads, had no app campaigns, this year the creators of ‘Game of War: Fire Age’, ‘Heroes Charge’ and ‘Clash of Clans’ together spent around $16 million for 30-second ad slots.

The attraction of the TV, Dressel believes, is that ad placements are becoming cheaper, while cost-per-install is going up. App makers who looked at incentivised traffic sources realised they do not guarantee retention.

Dressel, however, doesn’t recommend TV ads to everyone, but says his company looks at click-through and retention rates, “the kind of key performance indicators everyone should measure, and then see if it makes sense” – although it is a challenge when clients do not want to part with such data.

He also said he tries to focus on burst campaigns, concentrating ad spend over a short period of time aimed at boosting app rankings.

Another challenge is that TV channels do not always play ads when they say they will. For this, Dressel recommends using iSpot.tv, which tells you exactly what time an ad played, which is key to measuring impact.

As for costs, Dressel, whose agency’s clients include 30 app makers, believes it is possible for apps to advertise on TV with a budget of €20,000 and then scale up if they want.

Thinkbox
Nicole Greenfield-Smith, research controller at Thinkbox, the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK, gave a similar estimate.

She also said a way to save money is if apps use their own game or app footage, and look at animation options and library archives, rather than buy rights for content and pay for actors. “You don’t need Kate Winslet in Bali,” she remarked.

Rather, it’s all about creativity and being able to elicit an emotional response in the viewer which will make the ad stick in their minds.

Other than ad spots, app makers have several other options when it comes to TV. They can sponsor programmes, create their own programmes by working with broadcasters, discuss product placements, event and themed breaks and make use of second-screen activity.

Multi-screening
Multi-screening – using mobile devices while watching TV - is becoming the norm for many, and means people are more likely to search for, research and even download an app on their smartphone or tablet while an ad is playing, something marketers can take advantage of.

According to Greenfield-Smith, app developers are looking to TV because they are “moving mainstream, there is a growing pot of potential audience, and TV has a massive knock on effect and can drive online activity.”

What’s more, 37 per cent of TV’s sales effect is transferred to other products within the brand portfolio. That is why she recommends attaching brand names to each app, if a company has more than one.

It is not always easy to measure exactly how successful a TV campaign is, but Dressel said current methods are pretty accurate.

AppsFlyer, a mobile advertising measurement platform, recently released an ad measurement and attribution tool that tracks the effectiveness of television ads for mobile app install campaigns, which it claims is an “industry-first”. It can track the number of new installs a specific TV ad brought in, as well as the quality of those installs and the overall ROI for every media source within the campaign.

“These previously unquantifiable results can then be used as planning tools for the next round of TV advertising buying,” said CEO and founder of AppsFlyer, Oren Kaniel.

“Brands, e-commerce and travel companies find television to be the new frontier of mobile app advertising. The exposure and reach of television ads is practically unparalleled,” he added.

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