What Makes A Good Mobile Ad?

As sure at there will be eight more iPhone rumors today, we know that more advertising is coming to mobile devices. The topic was heavily discussed in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) with debate around consumer behavior and interests. So where does Google stand? The company staunchly believes that more creativity and higher production values are needed to advance mobile advertising. Outgoing Google CEO Eric Schmidt used his keynote address to drive home a single message about the real future of the medium. “To me, the tools and technology that allow us to do targeted TV quality ads — again with permission and without violating privacy — is the next great frontier in advertising.” Twitter CEO Dick Costolo used his keynote slot to focus more on usability, simplicity and the experience Twitter delivers over thousands of devices. But a leaked video gives us the inside track on where Twitter wants to go with advertising (across all platforms). Will people buy into Twitter’s approach? Near the end of the 40-minute presentation, even Twitter acknowledges that its way of presenting advertising won’t be universally accepted. “People are averse to change, especially when it comes to advertising, and this type of (negative) feedback is to be expected,” the narrator of the company video admits. However, the number of people put off by the ads amount to an “extremely marginal percentage of the total.” What about the money-generating Promoted Tweets? Twitter tells us in the video that marketers should expect an “engagement rate” of 1 percent to 3 percent. Having worked in ad agencies for a large part of my career, I have a deep appreciation of top shelf advertising. But a slick look and catchy copy aren’t the only criteria for effective mobile advertising. Relevance, permission and a compelling offer are much higher on my list of must-haves. Twitter’s assessment of how consumers will likely respond negatively to the ads delivered via its service isn’t surprising. Indeed, most people will be “put off by them” – but I don’t expect people to vote with their feet. They’ll likely live with the ads. But that doesn’t mean they will listen to the brand messages. If we marketers want to get consumers’ attention, then it’s our job to connect with the mobile user in a way that is welcome, non-intrusive and personal. After all, mobile is a personal device and we should use a personal touch (and ask permission first). The rest of my MSearchGroove column is here http://www.msearchgroove.com/google-why-their-schemes-may-backfire/