Successful Mobile Ad Design Depends on GDP – Says Todacell

Mobile Displays – Todacell is an international advertising network with offices in the US, Europe and Israel. The company found that there were some inconsistencies in advertising response which they could not explain -what worked in one part of the world would not work in another.

The story was broken to a number of advertising-centric publications such as Mobile Marketer, Biz Report, Mobile Marketing Magazine, Media Post, WARC and others. As Todacell explained, they realized that the GDP of the target country plays a significant role in the design of the mobile ad. When taking into account the GDP of the country, they could see that the amount of colors used to create an ad made a difference on how an ad was received.

As a general rule they found that if an ad had only two different color palettes, including various shades of the same colors, they were more successful overall than more colorful ads. However, the more colorful ads performed better in countries with a low GDP, while performing more poorly in countries with a high GDP. In countries with a middle GDP, colorful and more muted ads work equally well.

They continued stating that even in higher GDP regions local variations in average income lead to the same effect. Low income areas prefer more colorful ads, while higher income areas respond more favorably to more sophisticated ads.

This is a very interesting observation that will certainly lead to some scientific evaluation and explanation, which in turn will lead to a more sophisticated use of creative ads in coming years.

I just wonder if it will stop there. The message from Todacell is that is very advantageous for advertisers to know the income level of the consumer watching a particular ad. As ads are being downloaded, wouldn’t it be helpful to know what type of ads the user prefers? Based on the history of ad response different creative content may be downloaded. They just have to work out how to do that without violating privacy laws.

From a display perspective this raises some very interesting questions as well. If low income consumers are more likely to respond to more colorful ads, are they also more likely to go for a display with a larger color gamut?

Samsung introduced a smartphone that is using different color spaces, depending on the viewing content. If we look at the above results from ads, maybe we should use color gamuts depending on the income level of the owner instead of the content.

Overall, this is a somewhat surprising result. While different people may have different tastes and interests, a correlation of color preference with income level seemed overly simple. – Norbert Hildebrand