I am not immune to a well-timed, effective ad. It’s sad but I admit that if I’m just hungry enough, a commercial for some food I ordinarily wouldn’t consider suddenly seems like part of the smartest dining decision I’ll ever make.
I don’t feel similarly compelled by mobile ads, though. I’ve endured all sorts of pop-up ads and side bar ads while reviewing hundreds of apps for Appolicious and I don’t think there has been a single time that I intentionally clicked on an ad or sought out more info on a product. Frankly, they’re just not compelling enough.
A recent guest post from ReTargeter’s director of marketing Samir Soriano over at VentureBeat supports my instincts. Soriano, who works with companies to get their brands advertised more effectively, likens mobile advertising to the state web advertising was in ten years ago. In other words, it’s pretty bad.
Soriano’s VentureBeat story featured a very compelling statistic, namely that only 2 percent of mobile consumers say they pay attention to mobile ads. That hardly seems worth paying for at all.
After reading that I considered how it all made sense, and how maybe in another handful of years there will be mobile ads that actually do grab my attention. And then I read this little gem of a mini-story from TechCrunch.
Now we’re a family site so I’ll word this very carefully. There is an app in the iTunes App Store that brings the sort of knowledge you might find in a text like the Kama Sutra right to your mobile device. No doubt this app gets attention from all sorts of folks young and old, single and married. After all, you may know how to skate but you’re probably not Tony Hawk.
Anyway, apparently this app has been featuring an ad for Pampers’ Hello Baby app, thanks either to the most creative advertising salesman ever or a terrible blunder on the part of the algorithm for automated ad placement on iAds.
The ad even includes the line, “Discover the wonders of baby’s development with Pampers Hello Baby app.” So this unnamed app inadvertently takes you through the timeline of your own life, essentially saying, “Here, this is the app you will eventually need once you’ve used our app too often.”
So maybe mobile advertising isn’t so bad at all. Or maybe it’s worse than I thought. This whole Hello Baby app ad actually makes it harder to tell. I’m just glad that even when we’re lamenting how poor and forgettable mobile ads can be, there’s at least one out there worth chuckling at.