The Inevitability Of Mobile Advertising

MOHAP LogoMobile advertising is a fairly contentious issue…at CTIA I spoke with Robert Walczak, CEO of Mophap (that’s pronounced mow-fap) about interstitial ads on mobile phones. The idea is that while a page is taking several seconds to load an ad pops up on the screen, filling in the ‘down time’ so to speak. I saw a use for this testing the Billboard content at CTIA — each menu click resulted in a 3-5 second wait filled with the Billboard logo. Putting ads there would create extra revenue, for someone.
Mophap also does banner ads, the idea being that after the full screen ad a thin banner is placed across the top of the window which users can click on in their own time. Mophap works on a share of the revenue generated by the ads.
So is this a good thing? Walczak believes it is inevitable that mobile advertising will take off, whether you love it or hate it….eventually someone’s going to be looking for extra cash. Walczak said that Mophaps solution follows the two rules of “non-intrusive” and “opt-in”…it’s non-intrusive in that people aren’t using that time anyway and the ads are apparently small enough that they don’t affect the download time significantly. People have pointed out that networks are getting faster, to which Walczak replies that content is getting more complex…as the network speeds increase more content will be downloaded to the phone.
So is this solution a good thing? It depends entirely on the advertisers. If the advertisers are smart it’s a good thing…but history doesn’t give us a lot of hope that will be the case. Hopefully they’re beginning to learn… the Mophap engine allows the ads to provide click to call or SMS capability, and special offers can be sent straight to the handset or to e-mail. However, as with all mobile advertising, if it is to be effective the user must want to interact with the ad.
Our CTIA/MES coverage is sponsored by Motricity: Booth 717.
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