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The dramatic rise of mobile advertising is set to continue with growth in programmatic, search, social and video being driven by companies like Google, Facebook and Snap.  Although mobile ads often get a bad name – with reports of 60% of clicks on mobile banners being tapped by accident, and 71% of users saying that at least half of the ads they see disrupt their mobile experience – we are still seeing the rapid global growth in the mobile ad space.

The global ad spend is estimated to grow from $108.9 B in 2016 to $143.5 B in 2017.

According to, Mobile will still be a key driver of programmatic’s growth through 2018, as this year mobile will account for about three-quarters of all programmatic ad spending. Desktop will account for just one-quarter.


The unfortunate situation is that most of the mobile ad spend is wasted on ineffective ads that are neither viewed, nor engaged with by users. The fact that good quality creative matters are clear (and to effectively tell their brand stories) advertisers must ensure quality creative in their ads.


But what exactly makes a creative great and how do we create mobile ads that connect with consumers?


The type of mobile ad formats matter, richer media units and the inclusion of video content will bolster engagement.  Simple styling can make a huge difference; details like ensuring the simplicity of your message, strong call to actions and, where appropriate, incorporating a touch of humor can go a long way in connecting with your audience.


Here is a checklist to bear in mind when designing effective mobile ads:

  1. Logo presence on every frame is crucial
  2. A human presence can engage the user
  3. Product shots catch the eye
  4. Placing branding at the top of the creative boosts ad recall
  5. Be cautious with dual branding as it can distract and confuse
  6. A single clear message beats a text heavy ad overloaded with information
  7. Video grabs the user’s attention
  8. Inject a little humour into your creative
  9. A bit of interactivity holds the user’s attention
  10. A strong call to action drives purchase.

Speaking on the importance of using emotive, beautiful and engaging ads on mobile – Matevz Klanjsek, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at Celtra, said “Advertising is one of the most beautiful and honest industries. Digital advertising has a soul and a beauty; we need to get back to obsessing on the creative & obsessing less over the technology”


A golden rule of advertising is that the brand content needs to enhance and not disrupt the user experience. As creatives experiment with a variety of mobile ad formats and pay closer attention to user behavior, we will begin to see more and more mobile ads that speak to the soul and beauty of digital advertising.