With over a dozen talks, conferences, and panels dedicated to revealing its future opportunities, the discussion revolving around mobile advertising held a significant spotlight during Advertising Week.
Of these sessions, perhaps most compelling was one led by Trevor Healy, CEO of [a•mo•bee], whose company specializes in providing advertising solutions for mobile operators, publishers, and advertisers.
Titled Inside Mobile: The View from Silicon Valley, the discussion kicked off with a roundtable question where the panelists were asked to identify “what is hot” in regards to the current state of mobile advertising. The majority consensus was best articulated by David Sable, Global CEO of Young & Rubicam, who emphasized the importance of the convergence of the physical and digital:
“Now I don’t need to sit in front of my screen, I don’t need to sit in my house. I can have all the computing power in the world right here in my hand and I can walk down the street and I can find the restaurants I want, I can buy tickets, I can use the GPS to find my way, so I’m converging my digital and physical worlds. This is what’s hot, we call it mobile, but I call it my life.”
Segueing Mr. Sable’s comment, Angela Steele, CEO of Ansible Mobile, praised the impending deployment of HTML 5, a major revision to a HTML 4, which is currently the predominant language web browsers use to display online content:
“Smartphones are more widespread than PCs […] couple that with HTML 5, and the fact that you now have a standard language that can be used across devices and bridge experiences from mobile to PC, you start seeing the shift from the personal computing platform shifting to mobile devices.”
When asked about the negative trends in current mobile advertising, both Mr. Sable and Ms. Steele argued that clients who come in and ask for a “Facebook page, a twitter account, or an app” simply for the sake of having one undermine the creative potential of the new medium. As Mr. Sable concluded,
“What’s missing is the creativity that goes into the channel. It’s not just content, it’s pure creativity—the kind of stuff as ClickZ says, “Good creative is about storytelling, evoking emotion, creating need, desire, appreciation, and loyalty.”
Other significant pet peeves included the “interruption model”, which temporarily prevents the user from accessing their content or app by forcing them to watch a commercial or pay for the full-fledged version.
Asked about the future of mobile advertising, the prevailing sentiment was that, much like in the earlier days of television, much of the necessary groundwork for a consistent user experience doesn’t exist yet—and vital to its creation is reframing the discourse of traditional media for the mobile platform.
Jonny Shaw, “Master Chieftain” of Naked Play, highlighted the importance of user interaction as a basis for this groundwork because it allows mobile advertising to move beyond the traditional advertising message by “enriching, enhancing, and expanding” the mobile experience.
“The interactivity of mobile gives promise, if anyone is capable of doing it, of actually starting to use commercial money to make one’s life better, and that would be a wonderful thing.”