Look Ahead: A New Advertising Force

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Look Ahead: A New Advertising Force

Gravity is defined as a “force of attraction between objects.” Perhaps that’s why Gannett Co., Inc. named one of its advertising units after this natural phenomenon. Launched on desktops last year, Gravity is also now available to advertisers and users on mobile devices.

Steve Ahlberg, vice president of new product development for Gannett
Steve Ahlberg, vice president of new product development for Gannett

Steve Ahlberg, Gannett’s vice president of new product development, said even though Gravity was launched on desktop first because it could be deployed quicker that way, the platform was “initially conceived with mobile in mind.”

“As news consumption continues to migrate to mobile devices, we knew that it was important for us to move our Gravity unit to that platform as well,” he said.

Alberg described Gravity’s mobile ads as an IMAX-quality video asset that, like the desktop version, will integrate a full-screen immersive display that can run both short-form and long-form videos.

Readers are shown ads when navigating from an article back to the home page or to a section, but can close the ad by simply scrolling to the bottom and clicking the “Get News” button. They will only see the Gravity unit one time on any 24-hour period.

According to a press release, 61 percent of users interact purposely with Gravity desktop ads, and Ahlberg said initial results from the mobile Gravity platform have been strong as well.

With little differences from the desktop version, he believes the new mobile unit will be as successful as the desktop version has been for the media company.

“The flawless execution of the advertisement is really a testament to the hard work and eye for detail that the product team at Gannett displayed during the development and rollout of this product,” he said.  “It could have been really easy to rush out code that just put an ad in front of users, but we challenged ourselves to create the better-than-norm advertising experience that actually enhanced a user’s overall experience.”

While Gannett has seen success with the advertising platform, Ahlberg said the greatest challenge has been creating a mobile experience that enhances a user’s experience in native apps.

He continued, “Native is tricky as we’re continually being evaluated and graded by our audience.  If something stinks, your users will let you know it and let others prospective users know it as well.”

For now Ahlberg thinks the Gravity platform has “a really bright future.”

“We have seen significant demand on the selling side for Gravity from both our national and local sales teams,” he said.

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