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Have mobile ads finally gone mainstream?


Jeff Hasen

CMO, Hipcricket

More than five years of mobile marketing and advertising experience

Yes. I’ve long believed that it is up to the brands and the superpowers – Apple, Google, Microsoft, maybe Yahoo – to provide the answer to the question, “Is this the year of mobile?”

These brands have deemed 2010 a significant year, with several creating a new line item for mobile and dedicating more than $1 million to mobile marketing and advertising efforts.

Apple and Google have sent loud signals, by comments from senior management and through the introduction of products like Google’s Nexus One and Apple’s iPhone and coming iPad. Also, Apple’s planned acquisition of mobile advertising network company Quattro Wireless, following Google’s announcement that it agreed to buy AdMob for $750 million, shows further commitment.

In addition, Apple’s masterful introduction of the iPad impacted far more than just the techie audience — mainstream America also paid attention.

The Nexus One has launched with lackluster sales, which can be expected given Google’s disruptive sales method. However, Google has said it will ultimately see more revenue from mobile than online, so the battle has just begun.

From the mobile industry’s perspective, we are seeing, by far, the largest sales pipeline in our history. Bigger sales are being made in shorter timelines. I’ll make no declarations, but I will thank the superpowers for their attention and dollars.


Jeff Sass

VP of business development, Myxer

30 years of technology and entertainment experience

No. Mobile advertising will not turn the corner until more agencies and brands embrace mobile as an essential part — perhaps even the cornerstone — of a fully integrated campaign. New products, however, do help change consumer behavior and push agencies and brands to note the impact and potential of mobile advertising.

The healthy competition on the operating system and handset fronts has resulted in a much better mobile Web experience and thus much stronger consumer adoption and acceptance of the “I can do that on my phone!” attitude. As a result, more and better mobile ads are being consumed, and the impact of those ads has to be noticed and considered by advertisers.

The mobile device is a very personal accessory. Consumers usually have it with them, and are aware of it, for nearly all their waking hours. This creates both challenges and opportunities for mobile advertising. You can’t be effective by advertising in ways that intrude upon that personal space, but you can be very effective by smartly leveraging the targeting capabilities and intimacy of the mobile device.

More advanced and more user friendly devices from Apple, Google and others help drive more consumers to the mobile Web, increasing engagement and the opportunities for mobile to be an essential element of the advertising mix. These devices are where the consumer now lives. Mobile advertising will turn the corner when agencies and brands recognize that.


Recent product launches by Google and Apple are another sign that mobile advertising will eventually reach critical mass, although it’s not there yet. It remains to be seen whether companies and agencies fully embrace mobile ads this year as a cornerstone of their campaigns. 

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