Yahoo! announced its new Motion Ads in March, which are available in large-size units such as the Login and Billboard. The creative for a Motion Ad is static except for a single animated element like the wind blowing a model’s hair or steam coming from a cup of coffee. This animation is an aesthetically pleasing solution to banner blindness because it subtly catches a user’s attention.
See a recent example from Verizon below:
Large creative canvasses and custom units naturally lend themselves to high impact/branding campaigns, and this is no different with Motion Ads. Larger units such as the Login, and rising star units like the Billboard, tend to have significantly higher click and interaction rates than smaller standard units.
Advertisers do however need to be mindful of how intrusive or disruptive their ads are. Motion Ads are different than typical Rich Media units in that Yahoo’s strict guidelines define what is and what isn’t allowed to be in the unit. Unrealistic, inaccurate and agitating movements will not pass muster – the creative must be able to stand on its own as an attractive image.
Kraft Cheese (a 360i client) is Yahoo!’s launch partner, and its creative is a great example of how the Motion Ad can really help a product come to life on a page. As if a close-up shot of a perfectly golden grilled cheese weren’t enough to give users pause before logging in to their emails, the animated steam radiating from the cheese takes the enticement to a whole new level.
Food and beverage advertisers will likely find Motion Ads to be the easiest fit for their brands due to the (simulated) sensory experience associated with their products; however any advertiser can use these units to fight banner blindness. As long as the imagery in the creative is eye-catching and relevant to the product, Yahoo! Motion Ads can be a useful way to drive interactions and clicks.
Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer has declared 2014 a year of progressive changes in Yahoo!’s ad business, and the creation of the Motion Ad is certainly a step in a new direction. The animation in a Motion Ad is quite similar in appearance to the increasingly popular GIF, which has yet to reach its full potential in the advertising world. In a digital environment where users are surrounded by visually pleasing (and sometimes jarring) content, adding this subtle animated component to an ad unit can make ads enjoyable to interact with as well.