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With Its New Motion Ads, Adtile Is Betting Users Want To Play With Their Ads

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Mobile ad startup Adtile is announcing a new ad unit today that offers a bit more fun and interactivity than standard mobile ads.

Founder and CEO Nils Forsblom told me that the company’s new Motion Ads take advantage of a smartphone’s GPS, gyroscope, motion coprocessor, accelerometer and digital compass on both Android on iOS. So instead of just tapping or watching a video, consumers are asked to shake, turn, and otherwise interact in their ads.

For example, Forsblom gave me a quick demo of a coffee shop ad that required the user to shake their phone, filling up a drink cup in the process. Once the cup was full, Adtile showed a map and a list of nearby stores. (Forsblom said the ad units are drawing on location data from Yelp, thanks to a new partnership between the two companies.)

This kind of interaction is common in games and other apps (including branded apps that are arguably a form of advertising), but I haven’t seen it in many mobile ads, nor in the various flavors of native advertising that keep popping up. Forsblom said that’s because “all of the pieces have to be done on native code.”

“Let’s be straight — advertising is not that exciting,” he said. “For better or for worse, it’s still images and app installs. This is really something that I think will make people play.”

I last wrote about Adtile in May 2013, when the company was still called TenFarms. At the time, the team was developing the Adtile platform, which allows users to tap on photos and other editorial content with the Adtile icon, bringing up related, interactive ads. Now the company has rebranded under the Adtile name, and Forsblom said it’s working with hundreds of publishers, with more on the waiting list.