Are Consumers Warming Up to Mobile Ads?

Of 58 million U.S. mobile subscribers who’ve seen some form of advertising on their phones, a study reports 28 million of them responded to those ads.

The most popular response to an ad is to send an SMS text message: 26 percent of respondents have taken that action at least once. A response is typically a text to receive more information. An SMS message may be in response to one that was received, or another format that wasn’t WAP (define) or mobile Web-based. Therefore, the study suggests SMS as an ad channel still has the potential to reach the largest audience.

SMS is considered to provide easy access to mobile data, and subscribers are still only just coming online. Referring to the 58 million that have seen a mobile ad, Millennial Media CEO Paul Palmieri pointed out that the number includes a mix of usage levels such as SMS text messaging, WAP, and mobile Web.”That being commingled, it doesn’t surprise me that text messaging response is the leading response category,” he said.

Click-to-call is named as another popular mobile ad format, with 9 percent of respondents taking action at least once. Additional mobile ad formats include banners with landing pages, click-to-video, and other forms of action including click-to-e-mail.

Consumers said in the survey, they would be receptive to mobile advertising to lower their bill (32 percent). A lesser percent is open to mobile advertising if it improves media and content availability.

“We see an increasing trend of consumers willing to trade off and receive advertising to gain more — and better — mobile content,” said Jeff Herrmann, VP of mobile media at Nielsen Mobile, in the report.

If the industry hadn’t stopped declaring each coming year as the year of mobile advertising Palmieri just might. “It really looks like 2008 is poised to be the breakout year for mobile advertising.”

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