Today I posted a bunch of tweets on an article running down a well worn view on the failings of iAd. This one.
To be fair to the author, it’s a thoughtful and accurate piece that articulates the widely accepted view of iAd in the mobile space. Basically, good idea poor execution.
The most interesting point raised by the author though is about falling response across mobile rich media ads generally. While mobile ad response rates are higher than other display based media, and interaction rates are good as well, they are starting to decline.
Frankly, there’s a lot of mAd campaigns that aren’t well executed and there’s a real risk of the vitality of the channel being strangled.
A lot of mobile ad campaigns aren’t informative or entertaining, ask too much of the user and basically get the value exchange wrong. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should or that it’s actually how people do or want to do things.
Mobile rich media is thought of or often described as “an app within an app”. I’ve used this language myself. But I realize the flaw with this approach. These aren’t apps, they’re ads.
You can create app like features and offer interactive and immersive experiences, but they’re still ads. And we need to inject some realism into our expectations of how much people are willing to interact with an ad. No matter how cool it is.
We are all learning the best way to execute mobile rich media. But going to far too early is not the right way, IMO. For mobile ads, restraint + not getting in the way of the audience is more useful. A simple, immediate ah-ha has the most currency.
This is my business. I’m involved in the concept development and execution of mobile rich media campaigns on a daily basis. I have a vested interested in the success of mobile rich media and a genuine belief in their ability to do so.
What I’m saying is based on trial and error and an increasing and evolving understanding of how to marry good advertising and good user experience.