April 13, 2012

Business Insider: The future of mobile advertising is display (case in point: Instagram)

original post by Arden Pennell, Business Insider, April 12, 2012

The future of mobile advertising is display. To clarify: I’m not referring to iAds or other software from OS makers and carriers. Like yours, my fingertips are normal-sized, which means tapping on those teeny-tiny “x”s in pop-ups requires an annoying amount of precision, and I generally ignore the ad content in the effort to get it off my screen. The gap in mobile ad spending versus the enormous time spent on mobile is real, and it exists partially because of these unappealing little ads.

Instead, I’m referring to Instagram, the photo-sharing app that Facebook bought for $1 billion on Monday. Instagram and its 27 million users have proven that display advertising on phones and portable devices is possible. People will not only look at mobile ads — they’ll rate them, share them, comment on them, and perhaps even like your brand better.

Just don’t call them ads. Instead, call them pictures, and make sure they’re interesting or beautiful to look at. See for example Burberry’s hazy, over-exposed “behind-the-scenes” shots of models and fashion shoots. They’re appealing in a way that glossy magazine pictures aren’t, because they’re not the commoditized images that consumers might expect. Instead, they’re a hip, attractive, insider-y collage. And they probably make consumers think of the Burberry brand more favorably.

You can hear more about smart mobile marketing and ad tactics at the Mobile Advertising Conference, taking place June 14 in New York, hosted by Business Insider. Extra-early-bird tickets are now on sale. The agenda covers everything from in-app experiences and stealth ads like those on Instagram, to content integration, traditional display, and geo-local targeting.

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