Debate Club: Direct or Brand Ads on The Third Screen?

The shift to mobile is happening. The problem: small screens leave little room for great creative and fat fingers push up click-through rates. We asked speakers at the Digiday Mobile conference on Dec. 13 to pick a side, is mobile media better suited for brand advertising or direct, and why?

Based on today’s display standards, we are still seeing more direct-response work in the mobile industry than brand advertising. However, a lot of mobile advertising remains interruptive and distracts from a user’s primary intent. Given the highly personal nature of mobile devices, advertisers should develop richer brand advertising that creates emotional connections through service and utility.
Jonathan Greene, managing director of mobile and social platforms, R/GA

The mobile medium is great for brand advertising within news and other editorial content. Readers are deeply engaged with what they’re reading — and the advertising that accompanies it — on a mobile screen. Brand advertising can be targeted and can be effective when it gracefully interrupts the user’s reading experience as a full-page ad in a magazine does. Plus, sponsor content is a very promising brand-advertising format on mobile and tablet.
Kevin Delaney, editor-in-chief, Quartz

Mobile is actually well-suited for both direct response and brand advertising. There is no medium that can reach consumers as close to the point-of-purchase as mobile, and the fact that the mobile phone is our most personal device opens the door to tremendous branding opportunities when properly executed. So marketers should be utilizing the mobile platform to meet both direct- and brand-advertising objectives.
Brian Colbert, vp of mobile advertising sales, Pandora

Our speakers agree that mobile devices are a great place to make an emotional connection or provide a service, given consumers’ bond with this very personal device. So why are advertisers still using it as a channel for poorly art-directed Bingo app come-ons?

If you are interested in learning more about mobile media’s place in the digital landscape, attend Digiday Mobile  on Dec. 13, in New York. Click to register today.