Media Blogged

How media owners can benefit from partnering with creative production companies

Everyone appreciates the world of media is changing rapidly - a bigger question is what this change means for media owners such as IPC Media.

As consumer reading habits alter in line with new digital technology, one consequence for publishers has been a huge expansion in the number of different ad formats. In the last 20 years we have evolved from being a purely print publisher, into a multiplatform media company that is able to monetise content across web, mobile and tablet formats and we have learnt a lot about how to improve efficiency in ad creation over the years.

The mobile revolution has heralded a huge proliferation in new ad formats being introduced, from multiple different IAB Rising Stars formats, to bespoke IPC formats including Gallery Breakout and In Stream. These formats allow IPC Media to offer truly premium interactive ads that fit our premium publications from Marie Claire and InStyle to NME or Trusted Reviews. But, though this diversification of ad formats has yielded great benefits for brands, it has also created a need to partner with specialist companies that are comfortable with working across all platforms while maintaining a consistently high standard of work.

The phenomenal growth of smartphone use has also led to a huge increase in demand for mobile ads with circa 30% of all our digital traffic now coming via mobile, yet research from the IAB shows that 43% of clients in the UK don't have a mobile optimised version of their website.

At IPC Media we are embracing both the medium and opportunity as much as possible, ensuring that all IPC's brands are optimised for smartphones (30+ sites delivering 50m UK page impressions to 3m UK unique users per month). This puts us in a strong position to offer advertisers bespoke optimised mobile solutions across a broad demographic range, whilst ensuring the formats offered reflect the premium nature of the brands and audience.

However, the reality is that making these ads in all the platform iterations requires a flexible approach. IPC produce a great deal of bespoke work internally but demand requires we have a trusted and premium overflow partner in place should the need arise. As a result our internal team has chosen to work with media ops and creative production company Theorem to create rich media ads for brands including Littlewoods, Longchamp and several leading FMCG brands.

Working with Theorem has given us some great results, including our work for Longchamp in Marie Claire magazine consisting of a film embedded in the IAB Mobile Pull format, which fills the screen when pulled down, allowing the user to have a rich viewing experience, but also an uninterrupted reading experience.

In contrast our work for Littlewoods with Now Magazine utilised the full page takeover IAB mobile full-page flex format encouraging the user to unlock a holiday wardrobe by physically opening a suitcase giving the Littlewoods brand a really strong cut through and visual appeal.

The advent and implementation of these formats encourage far greater engagement and interaction than standard formats alone, with performance being particularly strong among those formats that are seamlessly embedded into our content eg Gallery Breakout and Instream.

We are constantly working to create truly innovative and interactive ad formats which fit with our clients brand vision and also respect the heritage of our premium publications and companies, such as Theorem, offer IPC an ‘on tap’ solution that means we don’t have to double our creative team overnight when a major project comes in and then end up with a load of people twiddling their thumbs once it’s over. We also benefit from their close relationship with rich media platforms, as they are able to get ads quality assured and will also be the first to learn about newly developed ad formats.

IPC’s premium mobile inventory continues to be in great demand and ensuring we keep abreast of best in market formats and creative build is imperative to our continued success. Whilst a disparity still exists between time spent on mobile vs. ad spend, the gap is closing. As an industry, the best way to reflect the medium to marketers new to mobile is to ensure premium publishers like IPC offer hassle free premium mobile solutions that complement our content in the best possible light, whilst remaining engaging to the consumer without being overly intrusive. Without being able to call on specialists to create and innovate in rich media it would be significantly harder to keep up to pace with the fast changing media world.

Mike Newcombe is director of mobile advertising at IPC

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