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Consumers Expect Mobile Ads to Inform

Providing information and relevance are top qualities

January 31, 2011 | Mobile

With mobile advertising on the upswing, marketers must remember that many consumers are still less than thrilled about ads on this very personal device. Catering to their preferences for ad formats and features could help the mobile audience warm up to the usefulness of the channel.

According to a survey from Yahoo! and The Nielsen Company, being informative was the most important quality of mobile ads for a wide variety of products and services. Relevancy was a relatively close second in most categories.

Features that Are Important to Mobile Advertising in Select Categories According to US Mobile Internet Users, June 2010 (% of respondents)

By comparison, respondents cared relatively little about the graphical and multimedia elements of the ads. This contrasts with research on iPad advertising, which has shown that tablet users pay more attention to and feel more engaged with interactive ads with striking colors.

Focusing on information and relevance might be a smart move for marketers looking to advertise on mobile without alienating their audience. An Advertising Age survey conducted by Ipsos Observer found that mobile ads were most likely to be disliked by internet users, at 63%. Just 15% of respondents liked them. Mobile ads were over 50% more likely to cause negative feelings than website ads.

US Internet Users' Attitude Toward Ads in Select Media Formats, Jan 2011 (% of respondents)

In addition to information and relevance, placement and format have shown an effect on mobile users’ attitudes toward ads. According to the InsightExpress “Digital Consumer Portrait,” published in 2010, the heaviest mobile users generally did not find mobile banners annoying, while full-page ads were seen less favorably.

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Check out today’s other article, “Figuring Out the Best Fit for Online Video.”



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