Monday, August 20, 2007

AdMob Launches Advertising Aimed at iPhone Users

The folks over at AdMob have recently announced that they will launch an advertising unit geared specifically towards reaching iPhone users.

According to the press release, “AdMob's ad servers will now recognize iPhone users and serve iPhone-specific advertisements. The new unit leverages the core technologies available for the iPhone, including mapping technology for location-based advertisers.”

AdRants posted a quick blurb about the subject, along with a YouTube video showing an example of the kind of advertising iPhone users will need to grow accustomed to.

With media behemoths such as Apple and AdMob (they rep Coca Cola, Starbucks, Reuters, etc.) behind this advertising, it’s a safe bet that mobile ads designed to exploit the multimedia features in the next generation of smart phones will become more common. Along with digital signage and other out-of-home media, this kind of one-to-one advertising is a great way for companies to reach desired audiences based on very specific interests, and really tap into their desired demos. Critically, it has the ability to reach consumers when it matters most: in a climate where they hold cash in their hands and are waiting to make a buy.

Yet unlike digital signage, which represents a technology that people can choose to interact with based on their interest level, the iPhone ads seem like they have the potential to be a little more intrusive. Therein lies a potential problem.

When walking around a mall, we expect to come face to face with advertisements and enticements of all shapes and sizes. This is not necessarily the case with our phone calls, which represent a more personal investment of our time. Is it too far fetched to think that in the near future all iPhone calls will end with some deep-toned ad narrator saying “Thank you for your phone call. It was brought to you by McDonald’s. I’m loving it,” with a coinciding ad for a value meal popping up on the screen?

That kind of extreme approach to the iPhone ad could easily result in a backlash when consumers grow tired of being sold things based on private conversations, whether they are on the phone or writing an e-mail. This is not to say that AdMob’s new product is a negative addition to the ad world. Far from it. When used properly, and in conjunction with other out-of-home media techniques, this technology can certainly reinforce brand dominance in a powerful way. It just needs to be willing to meet its audience when they are ready for it, and not pop up at unexpected and unnecessary times.

Fortunately, AdMob offers a good degree of flexibility when it comes to reaching audiences. Clients have the opition of choosing from text only ads or ads with banners, and can use "Target Tree Technology" to help pinpoint how small or large an audience the client wants to appeal to. These measures should help ensure that advertisers will get the right level of exposure, and that their ads won't be more intrusive than they'd like.

Tags: out-of-home advertising, mobile advertising, iphone

1 comment:

Unknown said...

AdMob has invested heavily in user, device and carrier detection to fuel our statistical modeling and optimization efforts. We've been building some very sophisticated technologies for our own network and are now in a position to empower sites to take advantage of our engineering investments to optimize their mobile Web efforts. We hope AdMob Mobile Analytics will provide a further catalyst for the growth of the mobile Web," said Omar Hamoui, Founder and CEO of AdMob.
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