The digital domain, still essentially just referring to Internet and mobile, has been attracting mixed feedback, specifically on mobile, in the last couple of years. Many media experts state that mobile is no longer a niche, growing medium, but a mass platform. Many also point out that the promise of the medium has yet not been fulfilled. The reasons for this are varied. The opening session at the Festival of Media 2010, on April 20, brought more on mobile under the scanner. The speaker on the subject was Russell Buckley of AdMob.
Mobile has taken major strides in moving forward, and according to Buckley, there was no stopping the medium with open platforms, high speed Internet, affordable data plans and the rise of smart phones. He also spoke on the evolution of mobile advertising, citing examples of the kind of work that Reebok had done in the space to more commonly seen activities such as redemption of coupons.
Buckley said, “Mobile is global. We can put together a global campaign for you afternoon today through the mobile medium. It is present in every single country that may not even have some of the other media, but this has allowed it the advantage of reach.”
A quick dipstick on the audience showed that the majority today was still downloading free applications on mobile. Quentin George, Chief Digital Officer, MediaBrands, however, stated in a discussion on the subject that he was biased towards applications and believed a strong future through that medium.
Is this the year of mobile advertising? Buckley replied, “That is a bit misleading – what was the year of car, TV, or digital. I think it is safe to say that we are in the decade of mobile, and have been there for the last two years now.” George added here, “Now, we have even begun to see many brands that have found meaningful ways to integrate on mobile.”
The panel discussed that mobile advertising had a lot of potential, and that it today was where the Internet was in mid-nineties. Internet grew for reasons of utility like finding content that was not there, the advent of search and mobile, too, has become a discovery medium. The two experts believed that going forward, the industry would see an acceleration of the kind of action that was already happening on the mobile front. Another point to consider was that though some good creative communication was seen on mobile, effective distribution was also key. The move now had to be towards capturing the customer and involving him to also be able to sell goods through mobile.