Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Mobile Advertising

In today's USAToday there is an article about advertising on mobile phones. It is predicted that mobile advertising revenue will jump from 2005's $45 million to $150 million for 2006. The argument for using this new medium is that traditional media sucks - TV ads are being "TiVo-d," satellite radio is becoming more popular, no one except my mom reads newspapers (and that's only to check out the coupons on Sunday)...and on and on...

The article claims that text message ads, wireless web ads (the ones that show up across the top or bottm of your cell screen when you check a web page from your phone), and ads for free stuff are the most acceptable. Question - what other type of mobile phone ads are there?

I'm also going to put this out there - I don't like mobile phone advertising. Not everyone has unlimited text messaging and most aren't going to pay money (even if it's only $.10) to view the ad. And if they are tricked into thinking the text is a personal message and then find out it isn't, they are going to be annoyed. Does anyone really want their brand to annoy people (don't answer, car dealers). For example, I received a text message last week. I assumed it was the guy I was dating (is this a new trend? Dating via text? Are guys too nervous to actually dial the number and would rather clumsily peck at the teeny tiny buttons - "U wanna go out 2nite"). But was it him? No. It was an ad from Cingular! What a disappointment. No date, no late night rendezvous, just an offer to download free games. They should have sent that to my guy!

Plus, the screen is only so big! Why cram our ad into such a tiny space? It doesn't look good (actually, it doesn't look good on my crappy phone - looks awesome on a Blackberry. But does everyone have a Blackberry? Not yet.).

If something free is offered, that's cool. But the free game download offered to me is a waste of a text message. I don't use my phone for gaming. In fact, I don't game. The last game I played was MarioKart on my brother's Nintendo64. So, I'd suggest opt-in is the only way to go for these mobile ads. Once I'm carrying around an awesome smartphone and I pay less a month for ad-supported service, send me ads all you want ;) But let's make them discreet, please...


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