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Mobile Advertising and its current state

Mobile Advertising and its current state

Commercial posters and messages were written on papyrus back in the days of Ancient Egypt, as were political campaigns in pre-eruption Pompeii. As the mobile world develops to a state where we all have a constant internet connection, advertisers have jumped on board the mobile bandwagon and brought new, interactive ways of advertising on these platforms.

Apple launched iAd last year – an initiative to make ads more featured and almost an app within an app – while Android has had its own fair share of new advertising methods. A recent, controversial approach was taking by Airpush, who placed ads inside the notifications bar of Android handsets.

New, Interactive Ads

While not on Android – rather, they are iOS-exclusive – iAds are an example of a new take on mobile advertising. An iAd is displayed within an application in much the same way as a traditional advertisement but rather than take you out of the application and into your mobile browser, it brings you to what seems like just another part of the application.

Take the Nissan LEAF advert below that was featured as part of Apple’s 2010 WWDC opening keynote. Launching the ad allows you to interact with it but in an informative way. Users can add or remove items from the graph and sign up for a chance to win one of the cars. There’s no “shoot five iPhones and win an iPad 2? ads here.

An iAd for the Nissan LEAF – Courtesy of Engadget

Traditional Ads Are Still Here

AdMob is a popular advertising network owned by Google, whose ads can be found on a variety of popular mobile platforms including Android, iOS and Windows Phone 7. AdMob takes a more traditional approach at advertising on your phone by redirecting you to a website when you tap one of their ads.

AdMob was acquired by Google in early 2010 and the search and mobile divisions have been influenced due to that. Google clearly has an interest in search-based advertising, and have built just that into every search results page – in both the forms of advertising a shop when you search for a product, or when a phone number comes up once you’ve searched for a business.

Like iAds, AdMob also aims to create a rich, interactive experience with ads; some campaigns runs with an app within another app. As smartphones become more popular, the traditional ads remain, but are being bolstered by interactive experiences that can be fun and informative to the end user.

Some Ads Are Controversial

Now we come onto the topic of Airpush. Airpush pushes ads right into your notifications bar, rather than appearing in the app itself or on the main screen. An app can therefore place ads in the notifications bar as easily as it can place a regular notification, and can do so even when you’re not actually within the app.

Airpush has suffered controversy over this particular method of advertising, especially since a user cannot determine exactly which application is placing the notification there. It can get annoying to constantly get ads pushed to your device through an otherwise great aggregation of your legitimate notifications, only to find you can’t then remove the questionable app without performing a thorough investigation first.

Sure, from the advertiser’s perspective, it’s a great service. You’ll get a great spot on the device that’s used regularly to advertise. However, consumers just aren’t happy with their notifications being invaded in this way.

Airpush has suffered controversy.


Thanks to the developments in these mobile technologies, the way we interact with ads are changing. Marketers are preparing advertisements that add depth to their campaigns, and can be much more pleasing to the user than the traditional way of kicking them out of their app. Naturally, we can’t set the calibre of ad that can advertise on our devices, but we can try to spend a more enjoyable time with those that we show a genuine interest in.

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