We have been told that ‘this is the year for mobile’ for at least five years now. But the ubiquity of 3G, the advent of 4G, along with an increase in smartphone usage (around two thirds of Americans now have smart phones), suggest that the next few years really are all about mobile advertising.
The shift toward mobile is affecting how we spend our free time. In 2013, Americans spent an average of 34 hours per month using mobile apps and browsers; that's more time than they spent online with their PCs, which chewed up 27 hours. Social networking use is also declining on the desktop, while it's surging in mobile.
The critical thing for marketers during this shift isn’t about diverting ad budgets to mobile, but about integrating mobile creatively into the bigger marketing picture. The importance of mobile advertising is here to stay.
In 2010, Steve Jobs claimed that “mobile ads suck.” According to Jobs, they needed to be more creatively appealing and engaging to be effective. In this article, we look at mobile ads today - do they still suck, or has creativity in mobile advertising caught up with demand? If this selection of mobile ads is anything to go by, Jobs may well have changed his tune.
Nivea Sun Kids
The most effective advertising campaigns and product innovations are those that address relevant, real-life issues for customers. For Nivea Sun Kids, this meant creating a handy bracelet that uses location-based technology to ease the minds of parents everywhere.
Earlier this year, Nivea Sun Kids launched an innovative advertising campaign that has been designed to help remove some of the anxiety about family trips to the beach. The print ads for Nivea Sun Kids, which ran in Brazil’s Veja magazine, included a Bluetooth-enabled locator bracelet as a companion for its popular kid-friendly product. Now, the product not only protects children from the sun, but it may also protect them from harm. Concerned parents simply fasten the bracelet on their child’s wrist and download an iOS app that helps them keep track of their kids on the beach.
The Bluetooth beacon sends a tracking signal to users’ iPhones to let them see where their children are at all times. If a child wanders outside their parents’ preferred area, the app sends an alert immediately.
Mobile advertising can also be used creatively to draw attention to global issues and change people’s perceptions, as was evident with Renault’s latest campaign. To market their electric car ‘Zoe’, and connect with prospect British car drivers Renault used geo-aware ads to target qualified consumers.
The ads appeared on smartphones and tablets within a five-mile radius of Renault dealerships, in areas identified as electric car buying markets. The ads identified the distance between users and various local landmarks and informed the user how little it would cost them to get there in a Renault Zoe. The campaign aimed to raise awareness on the economic benefits of electric cars.