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Tablet Advertising: an in-depth look

tablet-advertisingTablets have been mainstream for only a few years, but already they are incredibly popular for certain uses.

Although most would agree that the tablet form factor provides a high level of consumer interaction and engagement, specific studies substantiating this and providing a finer level of detail have been sorely missing.

Newsworks is the marketing body for national newspapers in the UK, and they recently launched The Tablet Project just to address this need.

“Tablets have a growing and engaged audience, particularly across news brands,” said Vanessa Clifford, deputy CEO at Newsworks. “However, there has been a lack of data and understanding around tablet advertising – what makes an ad successful, what metrics should brands expect, what kind of ad types and language should we be using?”

Newsworks tracked 20 campaigns across five sectors – retail, finance, motors, tech & telecoms and FMCG – and included many very well known brands.


The results were quite interesting, with The Tablet Project citing what it calls “the average tap rate (interaction)” with a tablet ad of 0.79%, up to 40 times greater than the average online display click-through rate – depending on sector.

The variations where quite strong between sectors, with for example Retail & Travel having almost twice the tap rate (1.04%) compared with the Entertainment sector (0.57%).


The Tablet Project report (download link at the bottom of this article) also provides quite a bit of additional detail about who uses tablets, and the sort of result advertisers can expect.

For example, tablet ownership is centered around the 35-44 year old age group, although even the 55+ age group is quite interested in tablets.


Finally, the Tablet Project also divides the various ads in three categories – text, video, interactive – looks at the efficiency of each, then provides some general suggestions as to how best each can be used.

The reaction from agencies has been basically positive. Tara Mendelsohn, associate investment director at OMD, said the study had “propelled the tablet agenda to the forefront” and added, “It will help us prove the value that tablets add to media plans using industry agreed insights, norms and benchmarks that will help shape our client conversations moving forward.”

Jo Blake, head of outdoor, newsbrands and radio at Havas Media, said: “It’s sometimes difficult to sell in new things to clients – will it work, is it cost efficient, creative barriers and so on – which is why Newsworks’ Tablet Project was an excellent idea.”

“The results will not only help us sell tablet formats to clients, but the learnings also show the best way to use the medium creatively – that was why we wanted to be involved in the project.”

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