Mobile advertising is about to get a lot more engaging

May 4, 2010  |  By Civilian  |  

Have you ever seen a mobile ad? If you’ve ever browsed the Internet on your phone (or iPad), chances are you’ve seen them. You know, the tiny static graphic that hides near the top of the newspaper site, or the obtrusive interstitial in the middle of your Words With Friends game that leaves you searching for the “skip” button.

Photo by William Hook.

Yeah, those.

You’ve probably seen them, but you might not have really noticed them. That’s because until recently, mobile devices have been seen as shrunken computers.

But now people are beginning to realize that mobile devices are something completely different.

So now it’s time to stop thinking of mobile ads as display ads for a small computer. This different breed of devices needs a different breed of ad.

Luckily, innovations like iAd and HTML5 promise to turn the mobile ad into something unique. No longer will we be faced with tiny, static, boring, overlookable, and underperforming graphics. We won’t be left searching for a way to skip past the interstitial and get back to our game. Soon we will see engaging animated units that can almost act like an app within an app.

And that’s important, because mobile devices are already app loaded. Mobile users switch between these apps in much the same way that computer users switch between browser tabs.

These new developments promise a new advertising experience. In time, users will be able to interact with ads without leaving the webpage or app – just like you can currently do with some Flash-based desktop ads – all without the need to download a plug-in. That’s great, because with small screens and limited multitasking, users don’t want to leave what they’re doing if they click on an ad.

And clicking is just the beginning. Soon, mobile ads will be engaging and entertaining, traits that help break through the clutter and make an impact.

What are your thoughts on the future of mobile advertising?

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