Looking for Ads in All the Wrong Places

Mobile Ads Don’t Go On the Phone - They Go Everywhere Else

January 14, 2013

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We are all in love . . . with our phones. And where our love and attention goes, advertising usually follows. 

Though, strangely, display advertising on our beloved phones just doesn’t seem to be taking off. 

I don’t think it will.  Not to the same extent that text and display ads have seeped into every nook of desktop-based media. 

There’s one simple reason. Not enough room. 

Jonathan Baskin coined a particularly compelling phrase to describe what happens upon the emergence of new media. New media make all media new again. 

All media get a chance to be reinvented as the dynamics of media consumption inevitably shift around. 

So, is Facebook doomed because it has a display business today, but all of its growth is in mobile? 

Nope. Not at all. 

Instead, they -and their investors - should stop looking at the phone for where the display ads are going to go. And start looking everywhere else. 

The power of your mobile device isn't its ability to show you something. It's that it knows WHO you are and WHERE you are - and can then serve up an ad that fits you and the situation. 

Why do you still see TV ads for restless legs syndrome - even though you don't have it? Your phone is the key to helping your TV and really any location-aware and connected device deliver a much smarter, more personalized, more targeted, and more productive ad. 

Of course there will be some ads on your phone, and there already are, but even on the phone, the best ones will feel like in-app notifications made just for you. 

If you want to see where mobile ads are going to go - just look around.  Wherever ads are today, mobile ads will be there tomorrow. 

New media make all media new again.

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