We all need to believe in something; judges believe in the law, priests believe in God and journalists believe in scoops. Our firmest beliefs are those to which we are most committed: Take them away and you are left with an arch without its keystone. Beliefs are simple, often brutally so. In advertising, as with so many other facets of our lives, simplicity should be our ultimate goal.
This is why ‘Brutal Simplicity of Thought’ is M&C Saatchi’s guiding philosophy. This attitude can apply to all facets of advertising, including mobile which is becoming increasingly important to brands as an advertising medium. To many, mobile initially seems complex, arguably more complex than it needs to be. The sheer variety of phone types and operating systems, coupled with multiple advertising formats and ways to reach the customer means that it’s a world away from buying ad space on bus shelters.
As brands increasingly come to embrace mobile, they need not be baffled or even intimidated. Legitimate concerns such as tracking, return on investment and technical complexities can be assuaged by working with a partner who can take all of the worry away. A good specialist mobile agency will help to reduce the complexity of mobile and retain the simplicity that needs to govern a brand’s advertising outlook. Brands need to be free to focus on the age-old truths of advertising which is getting clear and impactful messages to the right customer. Mobile even extends this to delivering it in the right place and at the right time.
Mobiles are omnipresent in our lives. There are now more mobile phones and tablet devices in the UK than people, more than television sets. We now have Wi-Fi on the London Underground and airplanes and a new Wi-Fi network is soon due to launch in London’s Black Cabs.
In Britain we spend around 127 minutes per day on mobile apps. We carry these devices everywhere; it’s how we access the vast amounts of data that’s out there. Our mobile devices know our interests and browsing habits, they know who we are. Importantly, they know where we are at any given time. This in itself offers new and exciting opportunities for brands and consumers alike. Through location-awareness, brands can serve adverts when the ‘right’ consumer is near their store. It’s a revolution in advertising, messaging and branding. We recently ran a campaign at a London football stadium where we were able to instantly deliver a brand message to 40,000 football fans. A message that stayed in their pockets, a message they took home with them.
Combined, all of these unique elements make mobile an incredibly potent platform, giving brands the capability to target consumers at a granular level. This is something that has not existed previously. Consumers will once again welcome and appreciate advertising as it serves up products and services that are directly useful and relevant to their lives.
Last year saw two fundamental shifts in favour of mobile technology, both of which happened late in the year. First, sales of the PC, a staple of the home and office since the early 90’s, began to decline. In 2013, the PC is likely to be eclipsed by the rise of portable, connected tablets, accompanied by the increasing impact of smartphones. Secondly, the introduction of 4G (super fast mobile broadband) offers exciting creative opportunities for running interactive media campaigns on mobiles.
The explosive growth of mobile advertising, as well as its capabilities never ceases to amaze. Mobile advertising has proven itself to be a major advertising platform, with global revenues worth $6.43bn in 2012, according to mobile ad exchange SMAATO, and is projected to be worth £19.7bn by 2017.
This year is shaping up to be the biggest year for mobile so far, as more consumers than ever shift over to smartphones and tablets: 25m+ iOS and Android devices were activated globally in the period following Christmas alone. These numbers support the trends we saw in 2012 as smartphones overtook feature phones and opened up new opportunities for rich and engaging mobile advertising.
In this new complex mobile world, it’s often easier to complicate than to simplify. What brands require is an approach to help them creatively cut through the noise. They need to be able to leave the hard stuff to the experts so that they can focus on what they’ve always done best which is to focus on the core message and not worry about the medium. More than ever, mobile requires what all other advertising mediums need to deliver: Brutal simplicity of thought.
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