Celtra, an ad creation platform out of Cambridge, Mass., is announcing new price structures through two new features to its platform to create animated banner ads and single page expandable ads that are aimed to increase mobile ad engagement. The notion is to lower the barrier for entry for advertisers and publishers to create rich media ads for mobile.A new tool is coming for advertisers that want to create rich media ads for the mobile Web and native applications.
The philosophy behind mobile ads is changing. The idea is to move away from drop down and static banner ads and create more rich media and interstitial ads that users are more likely to find enticing and harder to avoid. Celtra wants to lead the third-party charge in creating those kinds of ads, but it is swimming in deep waters. There are a variety of companies that are aiming at the same goal. Celtra is hoping that with its new pricing structure it can be the leader in bringing these solutions to the masses.
Celtra is a self-service ad creation platform for iOS, Android and the mobile Web. It partners with the who's who of mobile ad creation and distribution, from Google's DoubleClick and AdMob to Jumptap and real-time bidding network Nexage (also a Boston-based company). It has created ads for Intel, Bing and Capital One (pictured). Celtra can provide the tools to create rich media ads as well as analytics for the performance of those ads.
Celtra's solutions are near the top of the industry. The new pricing of the platform is designed to bring rich media ads from big brand agencies to the masses. Essentially, Celtra's offerings will come in different pricing tiers with more tools and functionality the more you pay. The two new announcements are the animated HTML5 banner ads and the simple rich media ads that can fit a variety of price structures.
Yet, the company could be in for possible disruption. It will not come from below with a startup looking to eats its lunch, but rather from above. Apple iAd is eventually aiming to do exactly what Celtra is releasing tomorrow - an easy-to-use platform designed for creating rich media ads in iOS and the mobile Web.
The difference between iAd and Celtra is the fact that Apple holds a tight rein on the iAd platform. When it initially launched, advertisers needed to pony up at least $1 million and then be subject to Apple's creative team. The payoff for the investment was supposed to be lucrative but Apple may have overplayed its hand as iAd has not been much heard of since launching in the spring of 2010.
If Apple takes its grip off of iAd (which is entirely possible with the passing of Steve Jobs and his manner of control of the user interface) and creates a self-serve platform much in the same manner, Celtra will find itself competing directly against one of the largest corporations in the world.
Developers and advertisers - Does Celtra's new tool look like an answer to increasing engagement in mobile ads? Can it help developers get paid? Let us know in the comments.
Update Oct. 17, 5:11 p.m. EST -- Due to miscommunication, this post and headline has been updated to clarify the nature of the new Celtra offerings. It is not creating a new platform. Celtra is adding two new features to platform to diversify the pricing structure.