Exploring user attitudes towards location-based advertisements on smartwatches

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WATCH OUT FOR THE 4TH SCREEN: EXPLORING USER ATTITUDES TOWARDS LOCATION-BASED ADVERTISEMENTS ON SMARTWACTHES Kitti Alexandra Fabian


Forewords Working at an advertising agency has taught me a lot, but the one constant thing I have experienced during my career is change. The emergence of new platforms and different advertisement formats are a never ending circle which brings both challenges and opportunities to advertisers and marketers alike. When it was time to decide on my master thesis topic, I knew I wanted to focus on building on this knowledge and explore a potential advertising platform, smartwatches. More specifically, I wanted to focus on the user perspective since smartwatches as a device are known to be very personal to the user. Due to the proximity to the user´s body, smartwatches go where other devices don’t, which provides an opportunity in terms of location-based advertising. The goal was to find out how smartwatch users feel about advertisements appearing on their smartwatches, what factors affect their attitudes, what are their concerns and to paint a holistic overview of the phenomenon. Below is the research overview.

For some it might be hard to imagine advertisements on smartwatches, but through prototyping advertisement scenarios for smartwatches, it was possible to realize these and test them with actual smartwatch users. Through interviews and focus group sessions, I discovered that the participants were open to receive location-based advertisements on their smartwatches, however their attitudes will be affected by the following factors: relevancy, personalization, informativeness, privacy concerns, context (location, frequency, timing), perceived ease of use and attitude towards advertising in general. Relevance became the most important factor which also includes the element of control, meaning that smartwatch users can provide feedback on the specific advertisement on their smartwatch. The final version of the prototypes may inspire and offer marketers four concepts of how advertising on smartwatches could look like, which were iterated with the valuable insights and opinions of smartwatch users. Therefore, the prototypes serve not only as research instruments, but as the final proposed concepts for marketers and advertisers. This document aims to present you with these prototypes.


Prototype 1-News application: First versions

Prototype 1: frame 1 for all versions

Prototype 1a: gesture (click) and next frame

Prototype 1c: X button

Prototype 1b: smart reply

Prototype 1a,b,c end frame

Prototype 1: After focus group 1

Prototype 1b: updated smart reply and ad

Prototype 1c: X button, updated ad

Prototype 1 b,c updated end frame

Kitti Alexandra Fabian


Prototype 1: Final version

Prototype 1: final version

Prototype 2-Notification: First versions

Prototype 2a: smart reply

Prototype 2 a,b: action frame

Prototype 2b: gesture- click and swipe

Prototype 2 a,b: end frame


Prototype 2: After focus group 1

Prototype 2a: updated smart reply buttons

Prototype 2 a,b: action frame

Prototype 2 a,b: updated end frame

Prototype 2b: gesture- click and swipe

Prototype 2: Final version

Prototype 2a: updated smart reply buttons

Prototype 2: action frame

Prototype 2: final end frame

Kitti Alexandra Fabian


Prototype 3-Fitness tracking application: First versions

Prototype 3a: X button

Prototype 3b: gesture-swipe

Prototype 3c: smart reply and action

Prototype 3 a, b, c end frame

Prototype 3: After the first focus group

Prototype 3a: updated ad and X button


Prototype 3b: updated ad and swipe

Prototype 3 a, b, c updated end frame

Prototype 3: Final version

Prototype 3a: updated ad and X button

Prototype 3: action

Prototype 3: final end frame

Kitti Alexandra Fabian


Prototype 4-Voice search/Pull LBA: First versions

Prototype 4: first frame for all versions

Prototype 4: second frame for all versions

Prototype 4a: gesture-swipe

Prototype 4b: X button

Prototype 4c: smart reply


Prototype 4: open ad

Prototype 4 a, b, c: end frame

Prototype 4: After the first focus group

Prototype 4a: gesture-swipe

Prototype 4b: X button

Prototype 4 a, b: updated end frame

Kitti Alexandra Fabian


Prototype 4: Final version

Prototype 4b: X button

Prototype 4: final end frame

Kitti Alexandra Fabian


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