Friday, August 24, 2007

Mobile Advertising = More Intrusive = Viewers Want Free Stuff

An article in MarketingVOX talking about a new study by Universal McCann concludes that even though mobile advertising presents new opportunities, viewers are irritated by new ads on mobile Internet and TV services.

Unless, of course, they are given free stuff.

According to the article, "recent reports also suggest the world's 2 billion mobile users are turned off by tactics simply imported onto their phones from the desktop and TV. The solution to this problem may lie in offering a different value proposition to users in exchange for perceived "intrusions."

The global study found users were more receptive when they got free content from advertisers, such as branded content and opt-in Bluetooth downloads. For example, Coca-Cola gave away free songs on iTunes."

So what does this mean for an advertising world that has to increasingly up it's level of intrusiveness in order to reach constantly diverted audiences? It's simple: make the ads (regardless of what form they take or medium they're displayed on) worth viewers' time and make sure they are getting something out of them.

While the idea of free iTunes songs is great, a give-away is not the only method for making an ad worth a viewer's time. For example, it sounds simple enough, but if an ad provides a viewer some kind of genuine knowledge about a product they are already interested in buying, then they'll view it as more helpful than intrusive. While it's hard to know when a viewer is interested in a product or not, it's somewhat easier with in-store advertising, since customers are typically in the store because they want or need to buy things sold there. It's thus important for in-store ads not to rely simply on flashy, spam-like content, but instead focus on features, benefits and a useful message that can encourage shoppers to pay attention, at least momentarily. Otherwise, they'll just look the other way.

We live in an increasingly media literate society -- this is no longer the world portrayed in AMC's Mad Men. People know when advertisers are trying to sell them something, and with their new found literacy they want some respect. They recognize junk ads when they see them and are now well conditioned to simply ignore them. And while it's impossible (or at least not cost-effective) to a have a giveaway incentive for every ad, it really should be possible to up the quality of in-store media to the point where the message itself is the thing that delivers value to the shopper.

Tags: mobile advertising, in-store advertising, digital signage

No comments: