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Ad Execs: Mobile Needs Better Creative

  |  October 6, 2011   |  Comments

Advertising Week panel examines mobile challenges, apps, and other marketing issues.

Mobile advertisers need to be creative and embrace the spacial limitations that come with marketing on small devices, a panel concurred today during an Advertising Week event. Jonny Shaw, CEO of communications strategy firm Naked Tokyo, suggested that many of the current players were failing miserably.

"I cannot think of one [mobile display ad] that was truly enjoyable," Shaw said.

David Sable, global CEO of Y&R, recommended mobile marketers look at the history of radio and television to understand that their challenges are not unique. He pointed to the ad-related uncertainties of the early 1950s when it came to telling brand stories through static-riddled little TV sets.

"Somehow people figured it out," Sable said. "We are just at the beginning of [mobile]."

Later in the discussion, which took place at PricewaterhouseCoopers in midtown Manhattan, he said, "Be creative…People like to have those little emotional stories."

Angela Steele, CEO of Ansible Mobile, said mobile display ads often work best when messaging fits into a broader campaign. At the same time, she mentioned the power of a branded app that centers on providing a service. The exec cited the SitOrSquat app from Charmin as it helps women find clean public restrooms.

Whether it's display, coupons, or apps, Steele said mobile should manifest an experience that engenders consumers to a brand and affects their purchase decision. "Mobile provides a layer that a 30-second spot or a print ad cannot in terms of getting the person over the purchasing hump," she said.

Shaw of Naked Tokyo, which is based in mobile-advanced Japan, predicted mobile will be a more important marketing channel than television in 10 years. Mobile, he said, "can get beyond TV because TV cannot get past the interruption model."

The panel also discussed how mobile payments could alter the consumer marketplace. Shaw said creative minds will not likely be drawn to virtual wallet-based ad work, such as designing attractive coupons.

"No one creative wants to do anything in this space because it feels like we are trying  to mug people in their pocket," he said.

Meanwhile, the big agency CEO, Sable, painted a rosy picture about CPG and automotive brands' interest in mobile marketing. "Anyone I know - who is paying any attention - is trying these things," he said.

Steele said financial services clients, in particular, are currently very drawn to mobile. They, she said, "want to start, continue, and end in the mobile space."


Christopher Heine

Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.

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