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Joe Laszlo / ClickZ / June 5, 2013
Working in the IAB’s Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence has been an amazing experience. We are helping to shape the media industry at a crucial time; we work with fantastic members; and there is always something new to learn. But it’s not without its share of headaches. Ironically enough, one of them comes from what is seemingly the easiest question we get asked: “What is mobile?”
“Mobile” means different things to different constituencies. Some opt for a device-centric approach: mobile is smartphones and maybe tablets, and maybe netbooks or e-readers, or not. Some think connectivity, as in, “It’s mobile if it connects via 3G or 4G.” Still others focus on operating systems or ad formats, or just paraphrase the old Supreme Court pornography definition: “Mobile: I know it when I see it.” The Mobile Center opted to take a human-centric approach to defining mobile. Mobile is how people live their lives in a busy, hectic, always-on-the-go world.
Next week’s IAB Cross-Screen Content & Consumers: AfterFronts conference will embrace this definition of mobility, and confront the associated media challenges head-on. For anyone trying to reach an audience with a story or message, the implications are huge. More and more devices are connected: everything from car dashboards to bicycles to toys to even bulky non-portable things like refrigerators and TVs are becoming, in some sense, “mobile devices.” And all ad campaigns are mobile.
For example, consider the growing “backup GIF” problem in desktop ad serving – metrics for desktop rich media ad campaigns show increasing percentages of viewers who didn’t see the beautiful Flash creative that the agency worked so hard on, but rather the backup GIF – the static image only meant to be seen in situations where the rich media creative couldn’t be served or didn’t work. Just a few years ago, those situations were rare. But now, with consumers browsing on phones and tablets, backup GIFs as a share of ad impressions are becoming a bone of contention between agencies and ad servers.