ROI for YieldMo’s Native “Pull” Ad Format

ROI for YieldMo’s Native “Pull” Ad Format

Hello again from the Yieldmo A|B Testing Lab!

We just love how much brand marketers like our Pull format (GIF below) and how they’ve built creative specifically for the unit to truly take advantage of its sequential storytelling possibilities.

Pull J.Crew Example
With the increase in the number of campaigns utilizing the Pull format, the A|B Testing Lab decided to start experimenting to see if we could improve performance even more. And that’s when we thought about meatballs (being close to lunchtime may have helped too…).

“What do ‘meatballs’ have to do with mobile ads?” you ask

With the challenge to increase the engagement of the Pull unit, our Format Design team launched an exploration into which mobile UI icons and symbols would be most intuitive, and thus most widely adopted by users.

With its small screen, mobile designers have relied on a number of icons to enhance the user experience—and it just so happens that many of them are named after foods! This trend all started with the menu icon, which neatly conceals information until a user is ready to expand and explore. Within the design community, these three stacked horizontal lines began to be called a “hamburger” (note: some designers have alternative names like “drawer menu”). As mobile design became more sophisticated, more and more icons were introduced like the “bento menu” (also known as the “waffle menu”), and yes, even “meatballs.”

This meatballs icon, also known by its less fun name “dot dot dot,” serves as a wayfinding device that lets the user know where they are and how far they can go. As shown below, you’re probably most familiar with this symbol from your mobile phone’s home screen, but it has also been widely used on mobile-first, responsive websites like this one or this one.

Meatball Smartphne

Putting meatballs to the test

Could this familiar wayfinding device help users know which of the three panes of the Pull they were on? And in-turn would this increase time spent and click-throughs with our Pull format? That’s what we set out to prove.


Meatballs Pull Example
Our A|B test ran across our network and against several advertiser categories (Retail, CPG Finance, Telecom, Entertainment), eventually garnering over 400,000 impressions. So, what did we find?


-An 11% increase in time spent
-An 8% increase in tap-through rate


Sure enough, the meatballs did exactly what we thought they would do. By giving users a sense for where they were, and that there were other panes to explore, they naturally engaged more.


While we cannot always control the creative assets that run, we can control the design of the formats that hold the creative. Through ongoing A|B testing we’re able to constantly explore how subtle, but recognized mobile UX devices may  draw your customers in and increase engagement with your ads.

We hope we’ve enlightened you about just how valuable meatballs can be!

  • Posted by:
  • Jane Kim