The Future of Advertising: Highlights From mLab 2016

By Celtra


Bringing together the most innovative technology providers, premium brands and industry leaders, GroupM hosted their fourth annual mLab event, at the prestigious University of Technology Sydney (UTS). The exclusive four day event is designed for brand marketers to experience the most innovative advertising products of preferred vendors.

Celtra was honoured to be invited to present to GroupM’s most elite clients as an exhibitor partner, alongside Snapchat, Twitter, Unruly, Storyful, inMobi and Tumblr. All exhibitors provided attendees with a holistic experience into the future of media. Some of the major themes throughout the week included storytelling, mobile advertising, data, viewability and video.

The Celtra experience was futuristic, informative and highly engaging. Celtra’s APAC Regional Director, Rick Knott, highlighted that brands need to address the issue of mobile advertising, explaining, “the mobile [device] has changed immeasurable over the past 10-15 years and improved greatly. However, the humble banner ad has not really changed at all and frankly it sucks”. To help brands think mobile first, Celtra offered solutions to easily make their advertising more relevant and engaging for their users.

Group M also shared their own unique experience, guiding attendees into their 360 degree data visualisation arena, where they addressed one of the hottest topics right now, viewability. They used the data arena to analyse over one billion rows of data to help clients understand the importance of viewability and why it should be a priority for every marketer across their advertising campaigns.

As one of the newest technology providers in Australia, Snapchat were able to share some interesting insights on Generation Z and Millennials, who for example are spending on average 3-4 hours a day on their mobile devices. Snapchat emphasised the importance of storytelling, suggesting how best to capture the attention of the user with vertical video and geofilters to impactfully communicate brand stories with users.

And finally, Unruly and Storyful looked into the science behind emotional storytelling online, even setting up a classroom and holding science lessons to demonstrate the chemistry involved when sharing authentic stories with customers. Uncovering some interesting insights, for example, that audiences watching the same video ad can often experience different emotions. Such as audiences in Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines are three times more likely to have an emotional reaction to ads than audiences based in Singapore. This understanding helps to better connect with their customers globally.

In summary, my key takeaways from mLab 2016 are:

  • As the majority of consumers are accessing content through their mobile devices, think mobile first
  • Take advantage of data to provide relevant and contextual brand experiences
  • To provide the best UX, create effective content that is specifically designed for mobile

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