Integrating Transmedia Storytelling with Mobile App Ads

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Mobile computing has taken the world by storm. In Singapore, 54% of our population owns a smartphone. Besides using mobile devices to gain access to the realms of social networking, the use of applications, more commonly known as “apps”, has permeated into the lives of smartphone users. From productivity to entertainment, apps are used for virtually everything. Not surprisingly, the number of people who play mobile games has increased tremendously. Research has shown that 70% - 80% of all mobile downloads are games. More notably, in 2010, from gaming apps alone, developers made a whopping $87 million in ad revenue. Such figures are expected to grow 10 fold by 2015.

Mobile gaming has created a new channel for advertising. The statistics mentioned above clearly show that the mobile ad gaming market has enormous potential which has not been fully exploited. In the fast-paced Singapore we live in today, coupled with the significant amount of time people spend on their smartphones, apps are without a doubt one of the best ways to effectively catch a person’s time and attention.

Currently, most local advertising agencies offer digital services to design traditional flash or still ads for apps. Evaluating this with the Dragonfly Effect Model, these ads merely “grab attention” from the audience but still lack the “engagement” aspect. The “white space” here is the opportunity for advertising agencies to create a new breed of mobile ads which can thoroughly engage audiences rather than simply “making them look”.

This means more than just offering audiences a chance to win a prize if the click on an ad. Such tactics have become widespread and even gimmicky in nature. What I propose is that advertising agencies offer a Customer Value Proposition (CVP) which can harness the power of app advertising by incorporating elements of transmedia storytelling.

Through the use of ad space on apps, advertisers can offer services to develop a brand story using both stills...
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