Written by Robert Leitch.
Generally free to consumers, popular apps must find alternative ways to generate revenue. The most common solution is to place small banner ads directly in the app. While this approach, called in-app advertisement, does generate revenue, it also interferes with the app’s design and functionality. Enter Ad Adapted, a mobile platform that creates in-app ads that visually match the design of the app and create a seamless advertising experience for users.
“When ads look like they are part of the app, you get much higher click-through rates than you do with generic banner ads,” said Molly McFarland, co-founder and CMO of Ad Adapted.
The company’s platform connects advertisers and developers to allow apps to have the same type of native, integrated advertising typically found in only the most popular apps. The end result is ads in the app that match the aesthetic design of the larger program around it.
“Our clients are the advertisers and our partners are the app developers,” said McFarland. “A client will come to us with the type of product they are promoting, and we will identify and work with apps to get that advertising message in front of users.”
A recent example is their work with Jimmy Dean Delights. The company wanted to advertise their breakfast items in several grocery list apps. Ad Adapted was able to combine the company’s logo and tagline with app-relevant content and put those ads directly into the grocery list apps. As a result, more people added Jimmy Dean Delight products to their grocery lists.
Ad Adapted was founded in 2012 after McFarland and her co-founder Mike Pedersen noticed that only major apps like Facebook and Twitter had the ability to create relevant, integrated advertisements. They set out to create a company that could scale and automate the advertising process across all apps, regardless of size. They came to Cincinnati, Ohio, at the beginning of summer 2015 to participate in The Brandery, a nationally ranked accelerator and Ohio Third Frontier partner.
“We had heard about The Brandery from our investors. We wanted to scale up quickly, and they have a great reputation for helping companies do that,” said McFarland. “We really didn’t know much about Cincinnati, but we visited and were so impressed by The Brandery’s partnerships with companies like Procter & Gamble and Kroger. It made the decision to come here easy.”
Ad Adapted is one of the first later-stage companies accepted into The Brandery. While the younger companies in the program are getting help with their seed rounds, branding and metrics, Ad Adapted is taking advantage of The Brandery’s connections and mentors.
“We’re getting valuable advice on raising our next round of funding, working and negotiating with large clients and positioning ourselves in the industry,” said McFarland. “It’s been a huge benefit to network with Cincinnati-area professionals and talk to other founders in the program.”
“Thanks to The Brandery, we’re building a strong foundation here in Cincinnati,” said McFarland. “This city will always remain an important part of our company’s strategy.”