How Visa, Sephora, and Hong Kong Airlines Reimagine Mobile Marketing

As mobile advertisers lose double-digit shares of their ad spend due to bad bot activity, grapple with ‘fat finger’ syndrome where accidental clicks contribute to a majority of smartphone ad interactions, and brace for the ramifications of 70%-80% of mobile users of every age demographic interested in blocking mobile ads, how will they continue to reach mobile users?

That’s the question I will address with Katherine Hays, CEO of Vivoom, on the webinar Mobile Marketing Reimagined on August 4 at 1pm EST (register Here is a sneak preview of how some marketers are going about reaching their target audiences in ways that aren’t as easily susceptible to the many plagues of mobile. During the webinar, Katherine and I will share many more examples, and I’ll then offer a framework for what the perfect mobile ads will look like going forward.


For a particularly timely case study, check out what Visa did during the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Visa, then a client when I led marketing at MRY, encouraged fans to cheer for their favorite athletes and then included fans’ avatars in eye-catching mosaics. Twitter, whose usage has been mostly mobile since it started, was critical for Visa, and Visa wound up with the largest number of brand mentions of any Sochi sponsor,according to Social Media Today. Even more impressive is that sentiment for Visa was 96% positive, and Visa handily had the best sentiment of any brand with more than 10,000 mentions.

Takeaway: When sponsoring events, put fans and attendees first, and give them a reason to promote your brand in the process.

2) Showing Off Your Beautiful Bot

To really understand the chat bot space, skip Facebook Messenger and start with Kik, the messenger platform with especially high usage among teens. There are two reasons: Kik has a Bot Shop where you can browse all the bots, and Kik has added built-in functionality that makes it easier for marketers to quickly collect data and personalize experiences. One great example of a brand tapping into this is Sephora, which initially tries to learn about customers’ preferences and then delivers targeted recommendations. It also periodically reaches out to people who install their bot with more suggestions. Marketers still have to drive people to these bots, so bots are hardly a panacea, but many brands are already creating compelling experiences.

Takeaway: When creating a bot, focus on how it can offer one-of-a-kind experiences that consumers can’t get anywhere else.

3) Pilot VR with a 360-Degree Product Showcase

There’s a lot of hype around virtual reality, but the most basic form of it — 360-degree video — can be a far more effective way to engage consumers at scale. Hong Kong Airlines worked with agency MEC and ad automation platform Kiosked to create 360-degree video experiences within standard ad units. The ads take viewers inside the airline’s cabins. With a 4.51% click-through rate (reportedly 35x more effective than traditional display), along with a 9x improvement in time spent exploring content over standard display units, the campaign is one of the best early examples of how effective immersive video can be. Better still, the brand is unabashedly showcasing its product, but doing so in a way that delivers some value to curious consumers. Note here that the ads themselves are still susceptible to ad blockers, but most ads today aren’t blocked (especially on mobile), and this is a way to make the most of the creative experience and boost ad performance.

Takeaway: Use 360-degree video to deliver immersive video experiences at scale, and consider incorporating them into ad units to improve campaign performance.

Those are just a few of the highlights of what we’ll cover. Join Katherine and I on August 4 to hear about many more case studies and examples on the webinar, including best practices from Microsoft, Citibank, BMW, and many more.