Back To Basics: MobiGirl Media's Simple, Transparent Tween-Targeting

If you are fed up with the obtuse nomenclature of tech-driven digital ad targeting, tired of the hard math of making real-time media buys, and the lack of transparency that continues to plague most of these exchange-based remnant inventory dumps, browse Mobigirl Media’s idea of an ad network. Here you will find the fledgling company’s collection of about 80 apps that deliver a modest 10 million impressions a day. They are only starting. But all of these apps are laser-targeted to a segment you don’t usually see served by the typical online or mobile nets: the tween girl.

There are clever make-up sims and celeb fashion games galore. But what really strikes any online vet about this portfolio is the sheer stripped-down simplicity and transparency of it all. The price for advertising in an app per month is clearly marked -- no CPMs, just impression guarantees. Each app tells you what click levels can be expected. You can have a presence in one or more of the apps on a monthly basis, usually involving some rich-media full-page creative.



“We wanted the experience to work for everybody,” says Jen Noonan, co-founder. She and her partners came to this idea after spending years as developers of tween apps themselves. As publishers, they were frustrated by the existing ad networks that were too complex, costly and off-target for their niche. “We wanted to advertise our apps and couldn’t do it affordably. We could try a blind ad network -- but why would someone playing ‘Call of Duty’ click to download one of our apps?”

And so they built a simple network aimed at this very mobile-active segment with its specific requirements for privacy protection. The network enforced COPPA rules on both publishers and advertisers, so no private information is taken, and no apps or ads are allowed to collect unique hardware identifiers (UDIDs). Noonan says that with this very straightforward targeting married to the right message some of the advertisers are seeing staggering click-through rates. If you are selling girlie iPhone cases to a predominantly iPhone audience of tween girls, you can’t be much more on-topic than that. “We have some that are almost up to 60% click-through rates,” she says.

The ad formats allow for saving and sharing, so the tweens can pass along to parents and make a plea for a credit card purchase. While many advertisers are coming from the app developer segment and some are doing branding, Noonan is seeing a lot of bracelet makers and phone customizers using the system. In many cases, Mobigirls crafts the creative for clients who are just getting their feet wet in mobile. “There hadn’t been a place for a company that was looking to spend $300 to $500 to get into mobile.

Small potatoes for most major media buyers who are slathering their budgets across thousands of sites through the major exchanges? Sure. But there is a refreshing clarity here. You are targeting a niche the old-fashioned way: contextually, but with remarkable accuracy. You can see precisely what you are buying. And not a zany acronym in sight. 

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