The most annoying mobile ad formats are those which prevent content being consumed, according to a new study by Inskin, in collaboration with On Device Research.
The research found that people regard pop-up ads (cited by 28 per cent of respondents) as the most annoying mobile formats. Ads which interfere with content being consumed by delaying pages loading also featured highly (18 per cent).
In contrast, ads which compete for attention and do not prevent content consumption, such as those that move down the page alongside the content (13 per cent) or sit at the top and bottom of the page (8 per cent) are much less annoying.
“It’s not rocket science – advertisers simply have to put themselves in people’s shoes and be more considerate about the mobile advertising user experience,” Inskin CCO Steve Doyle said.
“There are some easy things here. For example, un-skippable ads, ads which obscure content or those that don’t have a close button, should be avoided.
“If a video ad is autoplay, then at least it should be without sound. If content is hidden by interstitial formats, then they should be easy to close.”
Matt Newcomb, Inskin’s general manager for Australia, added: “It’s about finding equilibrium between the needs of consumers, publishers and advertisers.
“Consumers want to access content without being annoyed by intrusive advertising, publishers want to be able to monetise their content, and advertisers want to deliver ads that drive results.
“Ultimately, if advertisers use non-intrusive formats then all parties benefit. It’s that simple.”
The research also revealed that people are 134 per cent more likely to remember the ads that sit around the content and move with it, compared to the average mobile ad.
One of the types of ads tested – known as a ‘pageskin’ format – generated 239 per cent greater ad recall among viewers than the average ad.
“People understand and largely support the concept of ad funded content, but that doesn’t excuse advertising in these environments creating a negative experience,” Newcomb said.
“As advertisers, we can strike a balance and ensure that we’re serving high-quality, non-intrusive advertising formats that complement the experience, not detract from it.”
Doyle added: “As an advertiser, you need to respect people’s right to choose whether to look at ads, and it’s common sense not to interrupt or annoy users. Letting them decide when they’re ready to interact with your ad increases its chances of success.”
It’s not only ad formats that annoy people with the research finding that 18 per cent of respondents say irrelevant ads annoy them to some degree.
“For ads seen multiple times, irrelevant ads are 33 per cent more likely to anger people, so it’s vital not to waste money on ads placed in the wrong context,” Doyle said.
“Ads in the right context, such as cosmetics ads on beauty websites, are much better received than in an unrelated context.
“‘Right person, right place, right time’ is a minimum standard for media, but far too often buyers overlook the quality and relevance of the environment.”