With mobile devices accounting for only 39% of all online page views in Canada in 2021, it’s understandable that an advertiser might still choose to focus on desktop ads to get their message across to potential customers. But not our advertisers!

In 2021, a record 70% of pages on Glacier community news sites in 2021 were viewed on mobile devices. This means that close to 70% of ads were also seen on mobile, with a single ad placement enjoying by far the most screen time: the Persistent Mobile Banner (PMB).

The PMB, which displays at the bottom of a user’s device, is our only mobile ad unit that stays on the screen for the entire time that they’re on the page. When the user scrolls down to read an article, this ad stays with them, allowing our advertiser’s message to remain visible and accessible for as long as possible.

As the user scrolls, the persistent mobile banner lives up to its name. As the site content passes by, GMD’s clear message stays on the screen the entire time.

While the Glacier network exceeds the average display ad performance in generating a 0.12% CTR across all ad units, our PMB produces a staggering 0.70% CTR. It’s clear that the positioning and time-on-page for this ad is successful at capturing the attention of our site visitors. In general, online display ads shown across our premium network are used primarily for brand awareness, and the relatively high number of clicks we see is a wonderful bonus in PMB campaigns.

According to App Annie’s State of Mobile 2022 report, mobile ad spending grew 23% in 2021 over the previous year, and we expect this number to continue to grow as users spend more and more time on their mobile devices. With this is mind, all digital ad sets need to be designed with a mobile-first mentality. Ads are almost exclusively designed and also proofed on desktop devices. However, since we know that they are primarily seen by our users on mobile browsers – and especially with mobile-only units such as the PMB – the smaller screen size needs to always be fully considered. The copy needs to be clear and concise, with a prominent logo and direct call-to-action. Glacier’s own Digital Ad Design Guide effectively outlines how digital ads should appear, and Bannerflow has a great guide to mobile advertiser. See below for a couple of examples of well-designed PMB-sized ads (source) – note the minimal animation and clean composition.

The PMB sizes can either be premium (300 x 100) or standard (300 x 50 or 320 x 50), and when bundled with our leaderboard and big box ads, the impressions served to the mobile-only unit are shown at a discounted CPM. It’s already Glacier’s best-selling ad unit, with a 65% sell-through in February, but that still leaves 35% of impactful impressions that our advertisers should be eager to claim as they seek to increase their business.