Contributed by Rohit Dadwal, Managing Director, Mobile Marketing Association Asia Pacific Limited

Rohit Dadwal

Rapidly entering the global mobile market, rich media represents a paradigm change for all players in the mobile content and media value chain, which includes mobile marketing and advertising. Is this new development a yay or nay?

Rich media is a development that allows mobile applications and browsers to provide users experiences that go beyond displaying text, static and animated graphics or video. It enables multimedia applications to be encapsulated in virtually any context that displays on a mobile device. While relatively new to mobile, rich media is already a common practice in the PC-based internet and a key enabler to Web 2.0 used in state of the art internet services such as Facebook, eBay and Amazon.

Rapidly entering the global mobile market, rich media is supported on almost every high-end mobile device that has been launched recently. It will soon become widely available across an even broader spectrum of mobile phones, smartphones and other connected mobile media & computing devices. These devices combine the capability to make calls and send texts with music, camera, email, GPS maps, browsers, widgets and other differentiating applications. On top of that, this handset development is introducing livelier and more exciting experiences that are easily accessible and attractive for users. Rich media will also represent a paradigm change for all players in the mobile content and media value chain, which includes mobile marketing and advertising.

Just recently, Reebok had a successful campaign to create pre-launch buzz for their new HexRide series using rich media advertising. Reebok invented HexRide cushioning technology to create a cushioned, lightweight ride for runners. Using a pattern of hexagonal recesses containing sealed air pockets, the shoe shields the wearer’s body from the impact of the pavement. Through their mobile campaign, Reebok aimed to highlight this new level of comfort and fun made possible by HexRide.

To generate as much buzz as possible around the launch of HexRide, especially among younger buyers, an interactive game was developed and made available for download. Highlighting the idea of making HexRide “your move,” the game positioned the shoe as a personal statement, while re-creating the excitement that all runners feel at making it to the finish line.

Targeted at runners, both novice and experienced, the interactive game was particularly effective in making a connection between the brand and the thrill of athletic competition. Over a third of users who clicked through the banner ads downloaded the game, and quite a few also took advantage of the “invite-a-friend” feature through SMS, increasing the number of impressions. What Reebok achieved in this campaign went above and beyond industry benchmarks.

In another campaign to drive ticket sales for “Jackass 3D” movie premieres around the globe, Millennial Media partnered with Paramount Pictures and MEC to create a unique, in-language and engaging mobile experience. They targeted movie-goers from four continents, ten countries, in six languages and across all mobile platforms.

Users were offered a compelling localized mobile experience that featured expandable rich media advertisement units with a one-of-a-kind, in-ad, interactive game and mobile site. After playing the game, users could share results on Facebook and visit the movie’s mobile site to purchase tickets, watch a trailer, view photos and additional videos.

This campaign, together with strong traditional marketing efforts, helped the movie earn more than $115 million on the US box office in the first two months of its release.

Presenting advertising campaigns with Rich Media Mobile Advertising (RMMA) delivers exciting user experiences and convenient ways of engagement with consumers. It enhances the unique value of mobile media and increases business for publishers, distributors, service providers and developers. However, it is noteworthy that despite all these successes, the delivery of mobile advertising using rich media is still at an early stage. While a lot can be learnt and achieved from rich internet applications and MMA’s rich media ad guidelines, RMMA must be introduced with attention to the unique opportunities and limitations of mobile.