It’s time to put the consumer at the heart of your display strategy, and Chrome agrees

Rich media is used to capture people’s imagination through compelling creatives. But thanks to Google’s recent Chrome update, its future is in jeopardy unless the industry takes action to improve the ads and improve the user experience.

There are big changes afoot in the media industry.

Source: Steve Johnson via Unsplash

When it appeared on the scene, rich media revolutionized how advertisers communicated with their audiences. Overnight, display ads went from static to interactive, boring to compelling, and lackluster to high-performing.

Progress was made on the creative side – agencies and clients consistently delivered award-winning work with rich media. But very little innovation happened on the backend, leading to the industry-wide adoption of the only-ok existing HTML5 technology.

While it has a number of benefits, HTML5 really falls down in its delivery. The files are bulky, they can significantly reduce page load times, and loading the ad uses large amounts of data. The consequences are a bummer for consumers: bigger data usage, increased power usage, and draining precious battery life. Not convenient, especially since mobile adoption has risen 50% since 2016, according to Statista.

This is why Google’s recent announcement to block such ads by default on its Chrome browser is welcome news – not just for users, but the industry. But the question remains; what happens next? And how can you, as an advertiser, make sure your ads are seen?

What does this mean for you?

This is not just “another” Google update. The implications of these restrictions are huge.

Publishers that rely on long-form video and rich display ads could see a significant decline in their revenues. Advertisers who’ve invested thousands in creative development will likely see all their hard efforts (and ad dollars) go to waste. Agencies need to completely revise their approach to display advertising.

But how much will this affect the market, you ask? Well, according to one Buzfeed developer, heavy ad interventions posed a “massive risk … over 50% of our video ads could be affected from serving on Chrome.”

It doesn’t make for easy reading, does it?

For advertisers, Google’s update poses a serious issue about the quality of their ads. The easiest option (aside from adopting WebGL technology, used by Nexd) is to compress images and files, but that leaves you with poor-quality ads and less user engagement. It defeats the entire purpose of rich media ads.

It doesn’t stop there, either.

With publishers growing more wary of programmatic rich media, there’s a big risk of needing to limit your reach to the handful of publishers that allow it. This means less interaction with potential customers, which means worse results.

Most premium publishers will likely follow Google’s lead in taking a firm stance towards such ads, and this gives them more encouragement to do it. For advertisers, this means your ads may appear only on low-quality websites, and against low quality audiences.

So, if you want your ads to be seen in the right place, by the right people and at the right time, change is inevitable.

Customers vs Users

When it comes to creative development, there is one person you must consider above all others. No, not the customer – the user. The user is often overlooked or confused with the consumer, but the user is a neutral person and critical to your marketing mix.

Why? Consider this: not all users who see your ads are relevant to your business or are potential consumers. Not all users are interested in your brand or product, either.

But all users browse and consume content online, and will view your ad. Whether or not they’re potential customers, as advertisers we have the duty to make the browsing experience as seamless as possible for everyone.

Over the years, adblocking has risen because of poor user experiences, and rich media ads are the worst offenders. The number of users with an adblocker is shockingly high, too! According to some estimates, over 30% of internet users now use ad blockers.

These slow-loading heavy ads are driving the adblocking movement, and feelings about rich media are at an all time low. As an advertiser, each time you publish these ads, you’re both contributing to a growing problem and building up negative feelings towards your brand. Eek!

That’s why it’s time to take action – now!

Web-GL technology

With Google, internet users, and publishers all fighting against it, it’s understandable if you think the end of rich media is near. But! There is a solution, and it’s something we’re championing here at Nexd. We deliver rich media ads that are super lightweight, don’t get blocked by Google, and don’t create the lousy user experience that has driven people to adblockers.

How, you ask? We use WebGL-based technology instead of HTML5, and we have a really effective compression technique. WebGL was originally made for video games, so it’s designed to deliver rich media quickly and smoothly. Each time our interactive ads load, it’s much easier on users’ data plans and battery life. Between our WebGL-based technology and effective compression algorithm, Nexd ads load faster and don’t compromise on the quality of your ads.

The results speak for themselves. Our recent campaigns with Carlsberg and Pepsi have had amazing results with our WebGL-based ads.

By harnessing it, you can ensure that your brand is compliant with Google’s restrictions on heavy ads, while also making the internet a more enjoyable place to browse.

If this isn’t a good alternative to HTML5-based ads, we don’t know what is.

Read More

Why Google wants to adblock Chrome, and how to save rich media advertising

Creatively engaging your audience in the ad-blocking era

Google blocking heavy ads is a welcome change for advertisers