Committing to Acts of Kindness on the Go

As marketers experiment with ways to get users to pay attention to mobile ads, insurance company Liberty Mutual is betting on something new–appealing to users’ charitable side.

The company’s new ad, which runs on the Apple iAd platform, takes a slightly different tack from rich-media ads that rely on the gee-whiz factor of full-screen videos and games. Liberty Mutual’s ad is plenty flashy, for an insurance advertisement, with buttons to push and screens to shake. But the company is really hoping to draw people in by getting them to evaluate whether they’ve been responsible citizens, commit to doing “acts of kindness” and spread the message on Twitter.

The efforts show how important it is for people making ads on mobile devices to get users to actually interact with the ad–something that would make them more likely to remember the message and brand. Mobile ads “work really well when you have content that people can share pass along and engage with,” said Baba Shetty, chief media officer at Hill Holiday, the ad agency behind the Liberty Mutual campaign.

The hope for many in the mobile-ad industry is that ads will automatically be more personalized and interactive because they’re on a device that people literally have in their hands. “You’re going from a passive audience to holding a mobile device in your hand and shaking it,” Mr. Shetty said.

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