August 4, 2015 Last Updated 11:52 am

NYT to launch new mobile ad effort, Mobile Moments, led by the newspaper’s native ad unit

The New York Times today unveiled a new mobile advertising program called Mobile Moments, obviously wanting to give ad buyers a heads-up before reps start presenting the new program. The new ad program is an outgrowth of T Brand Studio, the newspaper’s native ad unit.

I have long advocated that ad departments get more involved in mobile and tablet app initiatives, but generally the editorial department is the one driving the effort. The result, of course, is that these digital initiatives are almost exclusively paid content efforts, with only the occasional banner space reserved. A great example of this was Snow Fall, which received much attention for the beautiful, responsive layout of the feature. Often overlooked is the fact that the advertising inside the feature was plain ol’ banner ads: unimaginative and looking rather out of place.

This new effort also is being done outside the regular ad department, it should be pointed out, making one wonder if the ad department is leading the digital advertising drive, or merely along for the ride. But the company appears to be looking for new digital media solutions to come out of the new units they are creating. I suppose that is fine as long as they succeed. But when they don’t, the old departments will be there to pounce, office politics being what they are.

Here is the NYT’s announcement for its Mobile Moments initiative:

NEW YORK, NY – August 4, 2015The New York Times today announced plans to launch a new type of innovative mobile advertising this fall that will focus on key moments of a user’s day when Times journalism is particularly helpful in keeping readers informed and inspired. The ad solution, called Mobile Moments, will feature targeted short stories called Screenplays that will be created by T Brand Studio, The Times’s commercial content group.

“Our solution is three-fold: present bigger, better and more dynamic mobile creative; provide context for the mobile creative (where there is no adjacency); and tailor the mobile creative to the readers’ needs.”

Available on The Times’s core smartphone apps and mobile web, Mobile Moments are designed to be more integrated in the reader experience and more relevant to time of day.

Mobile Moments was inspired by The Times’s major advances in recent months in engaging readers with moment-driven, personalized journalism. Based on findings from research conducted with mobile users, The Times identified specific moments throughout the day when mobile users are looking for particular types of content, whether it’s articles that update them on what they’ve missed, entertain them or help them understand or follow an event.

For example, The Times’s Morning Briefing, a daily tip sheet that prepares readers for the day ahead, has become one of the most popular features on The Times’s mobile apps.

Similarly, The Times created one-sentence stories for Apple Watch, a collection of content that gives readers what they need to know in under a minute.

“Mobile Moments is the first phase of a long-term mobile native advertising solution that will continue to evolve. Based on the success our newsroom has had with moment-based targeting for its journalism, the commercial side of our organization has adopted similar tools, templates and insights and tailored them to suit our advertisers’ needs,” said Sebastian Tomich, senior vice president, advertising and innovation, The New York Times. “Our solution is three-fold: present bigger, better and more dynamic mobile creative; provide context for the mobile creative (where there is no adjacency); and tailor the mobile creative to the readers’ needs.”

At launch, content for Mobile Moments may utilize a brand’s creative or can be custom-built by T Brand Studio. The creative is responsive and dynamic and changes based on time of day. It may take the form of a graphic, video, interactive, or swipeable series of short stories.

Source: The New York Times Co.

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