Will mobile kill digital advertising?

08Oct12

As Mark says in MW, in the technological level, new technologies have brought not only challenges to the way professionals work in advertising industry but also shifts in content produced aand marketed by these professionals. Mark believes that in light of this, more personalized and customized advertising contents are gaining currency: “As more and more people immerse themselves in all kinds of networked, portable and personalized media, the consensus in the advertising industry is that the age of mass advertising is over. (MW, P126)” “Technological developments such as the World Wide Web and the multimedia cell phone” have greatly contributed to an increasing tendency that “advertising executives are increasingly attuned to the popularity of user-generated content and social networking online, … (MW, P129)”

In T532, the Economics of Media Industry class, we once talked about how online ad websites (e.g. Craigslist) have grabbed advertisers from traditional newspapers. Seems like online advertising has stolen the thunder of all traditional forms of advertising and is dominating the industry. But according to the news article from CNN Tech I’m sharing today, digital advertising is threatened by a slightly humble opponent – ads via mobile phone.

The article provides an interesting perspective of interpreting the difference of advertising in old days and nowadays to advertisers, especially mobile advertisers. “Mobile advertisers need to distinguish between media as a mirror and a painting. In the old days of television or desktop Internet advertising, advertising was like a painting that we could all admire without seeing ourselves. But today, advertising has a mirror with personalized information unique to us if we are to pay for information or products.”

The mobile ads talked in the article are not spam messages hated by almost every mobile user. Three vivid examples would show how delicate and subtle the ads operation can be:

  • Amazon is enabling consumers to scan products in stores with their mobile devices to get their online price;
  • Starbucks initiative to enable their customers to pay for their coffee via mobiles;
  • YouTube has developed geo-targeted and content-targeted advertising specifically for mobile devices.

Ads via mobile are trying to adopt more fascinated ways instead of just pouring information to target audiences. This might be exerting much more pressure on advertising professionals in aspects of technology as well as creative ability. But it is completely worth a shot if mobile advertising is having its moment.

by Feiran

Article can be found HERE

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