“Your (micro) Ad Here”

As an inagural post, I thought I’d discuss the state of mobile advertising, as it seems to be a “hot” topic these days.
Basically:

  1. “Micro” Ads are coming

  2. The will be married to relevance and location with what’s going on around you
  3. There will be more of them in comparison to print or video
  4. And they will be more intrusive into your life (if you let them in)

Read on for more analysis …
UPDATE: In the latest Fierce Wireless, there’s another article about Google getting a patent for wireless advertising. Point proven – the market is heating up.


An article in Fierce Wireless started me thinking about the prospects of ads on mobile devices.
Phones are prime real-estate for advertisement because:

  1. They’re always with you,

  2. are your lifeline to your personal life and work when you’re away from the office,
  3. and have the ability to deliver rich multimedia right to your fingertips (thanks to technologies like Flash Lite).

Several months ago, I was interviewed for a German magazine where I spoke about the ability of placing advertisements on PDAs and Smart Phones. Its very real, and its coming very soon!
Many companies are looking into this area, and already have technology based on location (i.e.-you’re in the vicinity of a Pizza Hut, so why not pop up a coupon for that location), proximity (i.e.-using Bluetooth, people are already able to get movie times at the Metreon in San Francisco through technologies like Wide Ray), and relevance (i.e.-imagine Google Mobile, it remembers your mobile search and uses that information to present interesting offers that may be related to where you’re going or what you were doing while you were “on-the-run”).
Ultimately, these will have to be “opt in” systems, because we’re already annoyed at mobile telesales and spam and the government has stepped in to restrict these abuses of mobile networks.
Advertisers are already gearing up, as you can see by this mobile advertisement guideline website. I know, these are only for WAP, but you can just imagine where the industry will take it a year from now.
My advice to advertisers? Why not have people sell you their idle screen space. Pay everyone a penny or two per click-through off the cell phone bill if they’re willing to take rotating ads based in something like Flash on the idle screen of their device. Its something I’m always staring at for the time, and if it was something I really wanted at the time, like a cup of coffee, I may actually take you up on the ad.
The key here, MAKE IT USEFUL! Banner ads are useless on these tiny screens, so why not integrate it into the phone? I really liked the way AvantGo did it, allow ads to place “reminders” into your calendar or task list of a PDA or phone.