Fairfax launches in-house mobile creative ad unit

Fairfax Media hopes to lead the way in audience migration to mobile, with the formation of a special unit within its digital innovation services team to deliver full-service in-house mobile and tablet creative to advertisers.

Around 2.8 million, or 40 per cent, of Fairfax Readers consume content on mobile and tablet, but as with many news companies, the proportion of revenue is currently significantly smaller, and the publisher is looking to bring that in line.

Product director of Fairfax’s digital innovation services, Adam Mather said the company’s strengths in mobile hinged on development of innovative and custom ad solutions for premium advertisers.

“Our new mobile creative unit allows us to not only offer comprehensive advertising solutions across our mobile and tablet platforms to a wide group of advertising clients, but we can now build it for them too.”

Mobile creative designer Basten Val and mobile producer Lucinda Burtt will have been appointed as part of Fairfax Media’s new mobile creative unit

Mobile creative designer Basten Val and mobile producer Lucinda Burtt will have been appointed as part of Fairfax Media’s new mobile creative unit

Mr Mather said the unit was an extension of cross-platform projects already being undertaken by its digital innovation services team and would aim to make it easier for advertisers to choose mobile for their campaigns.

“Mobile is often different, difficult or just not considered a high priority channel,” Mr Mather said. “We’re trying to remove barriers for advertisers.”

The unit, led by digital unit’s senior digital designer Lucinda Burtt alongside mobile creative designer Basten Val, will focus on mobile rich media and custom units to achieve mobile optimisation.

“Part of the problem – and also the opportunity here – is that for mobile creative to work, it needs to be optimised for mobile,” Mr Mather says.

Currently Fairfax mobile sites can run standard medium rectangle-style desktop ads. “But it’s really obvious when it’s designed for desktop site – the font’s really small; you can tell it hasn’t been thought about as a mobile unit.

“For creative to really work on mobile, it needs to be conceived and developed with that screen size and user experience in mind.”

One Fairfax ad unit, called The Knockout, is a full screen rich media ad which temporarily takes over the mobile screen. “Those units work by disruption,” Mr Mather says, “but what we want to do is offset that disruption by providing really great creative.”

Lucinda Burtt joined Fairfax in 2009, with six years of experience as a senior designer, and has lead campaigns that have won PANPA Advertising & Marketing Awards. She was also a finalist in the 2014 Fairfax Women of Influence Awards.

Basten Val has been a digital designer at News Corp Australia for the past two years, helping to lead the company’s mobile advertising production unit. He brings to the role a strong background in online marketing and design experience across print and digital.

Both roles commence immediately, reporting to Adam Mather.

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