8/5/2009 3:11:00 PM
Ban the boring banner ad!
Mobile advertising is approaching a critical juncture – it could either take-off and become a fixture of the mobile proposition, or simply be another ‘could have been’. It all hangs on whether we think imaginatively and ambitiously as an industry, or simply try and transpose those horrible banner ads from online onto mobiles. The rationale goes that it if it worked on the internet, why wouldn’t it work on the mobile internet...right?
Wrong! All the hype is simply driving down the return on investment from over used and un-engaging formats. This is bad for publishers, bad for network operators and bad for ad networks. It misses the point with its obsession with the traditional ad unit of banners, CPM’s (cost per thousand), fill rates, on deck placement, off deck placement, above the fold, below the fold, etc.
In 2006, the industry was proclaiming CPM of £20 plus for mobile banners, now we see ad networks deliver eCPM of less than £1. It symbolises the approach of seeing through the eye of the advertiser and not the customer.
Consumers have never been more engaged with their phones, thanks to the fantastic step forward from handsets like the iPhone and affordable mobile internet tariffs. It is critical we start by rejecting blandness and celebrate those who pioneer (even if at times they try but fail), like Blyk.
The vision should be:
• Create a mobile advertising business that simplifies this complex and fragmented industry.
• Invent an advertising business that delivers ‘delightful advertising’, which people actually want on their phone.
• Customers ring up to complain if they haven’t received advertising rather than about receiving too much.
• Customers compelled to share adverts with their friends.
• Reward customers with tangible benefits.
It’s time the mobile industry shifted its focus to innovative, new and disruptive models for advertising, and drew a distinction between the huge potential of the mobile phone and increasingly bland nature of internet advertising.