FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Friday, April 08, 2005

Better Ways to Advertise on Mobile Devices

Ever since mobile devices first gained popularity, marketers have salivated over their potential as an advertising platform. However, the first wave of advertising models proved to be overly invasive. "Push" advertising that has been accepted for years on radio and TV becomes spam on a device as personal as a mobile phone. Now, though, marketers are rethinking how to leverage mobile devices as an advertising platform.

The keys to success seem to be a) to respect the audience and recognize that they are on a personal device, and b) engage them in a way that interests and motivates them. Posting billboards with instructions to SMS a destination are an interesting experiment, as is encouraging the audience to snap pictures with their camera phones and submit them.

Advertising agencies and their clients are willing to roll the dice with these kinds of experiments because they know the growing significance of mobile devices in our lives. Says Andrew Robertson of the BBDO advertising firm, "We are rapidly getting to the point where the single most important medium that people have is their wireless device. It's with them every single moment of the day." The level to which the mobile audience will tolerate this linkage of their devices and advertising remains unclear. An even more important question is how effective mobile advertising will prove to be in the long run. The most clever, most technically innovative ad campaign in the world is no guarantee of more sales for the agency's client. And if it doesn't deliver the customers, it's as good as no campaign at all.

Sources: TheFeature, unmediated