Will Mobile Be Better for Branding Than the PC?

What's interesting to consider is the possibility that smartphones and especially tablets may turn out to be better branding tools for marketers than the PC. We're seeing this in the data from InsightExpress and Dynamic Logic, which show higher recall and other brand metrics on mobile vs. PC-based ads.

This is especially impressive when you consider, according to Mobclix data, that 90% of mobile display ads are "standard banners." But that won't remain true for long given the higher response and consumer engagement with rich media (and video) ads on mobile devices. Also according to Mobclix, interstitial rich media ads result in a 3.5X higher eCPM.

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Firms like Greystripe, Medialets, Crisp and Millennial are promoting and popularizing rich media ads in mobile. For its part Greystripe has tools to enable PC display creative to be easily ported over into mobile formats. But much of the momentum that now seems to be building around mobile rich media goes back to the announcement of iAd earlier this year. 

While iAd has been criticized for its slow roll out and Apple's tight control over ad creative it has helped bring attention to mobile display and forced others to step up their efforts to create more engaging ads. A case-in-point is AdMob's interstitial ad units, which are relatively easy to develop and feature full-screen display and animations.

The rich media smartphone effect is further magnified on the iPad, according to data from Point Roll and Mobclix.

Despite survey based objections from users to the idea of mobile ads, their performance indicates that users are very much engaged with them. And the more that ad networks, brands and agencies create richer and more interesting units the more users will reward them with their response. 

All of this is not to argue that mobile isn't a direct-response medium; clearly it is. But the availability of focused consumer attention and lack of clutter (so far) on mobile devices make them in many ways a stronger candidate for brand messages and engagement (especially when you throw in apps) than the PC.