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Potential and pitfalls seen from mobile phone ads

03 апреля 2008

Advertising on mobile phones has huge potential to connect brands with consumers at any time of the day and within a specific location but it must be creative, relevant and non intrusive, industry experts believe.

According to research from Ipsos Mori commissioned by T-Mobile, over a third of 16 to 34 year-olds who own a mobile phone are happy to receive mobile advertising in return for free content such as music, games or video.

Analysts expect that number to be higher among the younger members of the age group.

More than half of the same 16 to 34 age range said they would be happy to receive local area information based on their own needs and almost half of those that had experienced mobile advertising said they would be happy to interact again, in return for free content.

The research is likely to be studied closely by operators and advertisers who are looking to promote the medium as a way to engage with consumers, but operators are still concerned about intruding on the intimate space of a mobile phone.

Advertising on mobiles allows brands to target consumers according to location and at times when they are difficult to reach through other media.

At an industry discussion in central London on Wednesday, leading figures from advertising groups, operators and Internet firms said they hoped the medium would develop quickly, having noted the mistakes made by advertisers on the Internet.

"The research highlights that consumers are happy to interact with brands in this most personal of spaces if they get something in return which is specific to them," said Lysa Hardy, European head of Internet on mobile and entertainment for T-Mobile.

"Consumers have a really personal attachment to the mobile device in their pocket, so advertisers can't interfere with that relationship," she said. "Building trust, being sensitive to privacy issues and treating mobile audiences with respect is vital, as is creating tailored, relevant content."

Thomas Curwen, planning director at Publicis, said brands were still at the stage of experimenting with mobile but that they saw it as an important medium for the future.

He cited the "Kate Modern" online drama from social networking site Bebo as one way that advertisers could connect with consumers via mobiles. "Kate Modern" is a drama that uses brands within the storyline to define the character.

Useful services such as giving information about shop discounts or local bars when in a certain area was also seen as helpful to the consumer.

The participants, including Charles Sword, the head of mobile advertising at Yahoo Europe, and Guy Phillipson, the head of the Internet Advertising Bureau, all agreed that social networking was likely to move to mobile in the coming years.

And as more people spend time on the Internet on mobiles, the more advertisers will want to be present in that space.

Источник: Reuters

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