By Alex Samuely
The Ad Council is partnering with mobile communications firm Upland Mobile Messaging to develop mobile strategies and texting programs for its public service advertisements to reach and interact with wider audiences.
The Ad Council plans to implement these digital strategies in two of its national campaigns, Financial Literacy and Children’s Oral Health. The organization hopes that these campaigns will reach even more targeted viewers and generate high user engagement.
“Everybody is realizing mobile has finally arrived,” said Anastasia Goldstein, vice president of the digital team at Ad Council. “There are higher percentages of traffic from mobile than on desktop. We’re thinking about mobile in terms of the experience people get when they come to our sites, and making sure it’s optimized.”
Upland Mobile Messaging will be providing a platform that allows the campaigns to use text messages and segmentation to garner data on targeted users, including demographics, personal interests and age. Individuals can opt-in to texts reminding them to help their children maintain regular teeth brushing and oral care habits, and be cognizant of saving money.
This is the first time in the Ad Council’s 72-year history that a mobile strategy is being implemented. The organization introduced its first app for the Children’s Oral Health campaign, Toothsavers, earlier this year and has experienced 100,000 downloads.
Each campaign has a designated persona to be the voice of the texts. Oral Health’s “Joy” and “Ben” from Financial Literacy will help personalize and brand consumers’ experiences.
The Children’s Oral Health campaign aims to help parents cultivate their children’s oral hygiene habits with a creative brushing challenge.
The Financial Literacy campaign was established in conjunction with the American Institute of CPAs and is targeted towards adults aged 25 to 34. It serves as a reminder to be in control of personal finances and plan for future financial endeavors.
Quizzes, tips and other tools are meant to help users attain their financial goals in the short-term and long-term future.
“We ask what their immediate goals are and tailor content to support them in saving money,” said Ms. Goldstein.
PSAs and mobile
Mobile strategy and public service advertisements should become increasingly more integrated, due to the vast audience they are meant to reach. Because ads are usually kept short, mobile is a prime opportunity to reach users.
The Ad Council will still be displaying ads on its usual channels of communication. Ads are visible on television spots, print, and online.
“We use all media available and donated to us,” said Ms. Goldstein.
The effectiveness of the ads will be measured by click-through rates, amount of times a message is opened, and user retention rates.
Upland Mobile Messaging claims that mobile strategies are an optimal way of reaching audiences because they are less likely to become overwhelmed by a tiny chunk of text. The firm seeks to help people address issues discussed in the ads on a step-by-step basis.
Texting is also an ideal way to reach Ad Council’s target audience, which are people of lower income and education.
“This is a step closer to being able to get actual feedback from actual people on our campaigns,” said Ms. Goldstein. “Texting is so personal and intimate, and we can ask questions and get that feedback. It’s such a richer way to understand the impact you’re having, and it helps us to be even closer to people.”