As this column hits your mailbox, OMMA Mobile should be in full swing in L.A. Nielsen's Nic Covey will be kicking off today's show with some recent and fascinating research into mobile habits and ad responsiveness. While I will be curious to see how Nic interprets some of these points today, let me share a few sneak peeks at his deck that intrigue me already.
When I think about all the trouble mobile gaming has had getting traction with U.S. customers, I wonder why developers aren't trolling the exploding world of online casual games for innovative ideas like "Pain," the game whose pleasures are as simple and archly sadistic as they are addictive. The last thing we need is another "Bejeweled" variant, or a nondescript 2D side scroller with a movie license slapped on it.
According to a recent survey by Azuki systems, 52% of mobile users access the mobile Web, but 80% wish it were easier to get information there. Aside from the mobile Web numbers being considerably higher than we see from more formal metrics, I am not sure exactly what numbers or sentiments like this really mean. Are users having trouble just getting onto the Mobile Web or finding things there? Well, probably both.
Viral marketing campaigns are notoriously unpredictable. Until you send an edgy piece of promotional creative out into the wild, or initiate a UGC come-on, who knows whether it will fall flat or "go viral." I was intrigued by the small scale success of mobile UGC campaign from 211(me) for a Dave Attell comedy show at the Showcase Live in Foxboro, Mass in August. According to 211(me) CEO Robert DeFranco, this use of mobile and Web for grassroots event promotion exceeded initial goals tenfold on some metrics. The client credited the mobile effort with having to adding a second show.
This whirlwind tour of mobile video comes to an end for now with the granddaddy (in mobile years) of the format, MobiTV. Well, let me qualify. A "whirlwind tour" encompasses my basement office, living room lounger and Borders, where I tested most of these services. For me, that's getting out. My fiancée likes to remind me, "You have the skin color of someone who has been held hostage for a number of years." I think that is the pallor one gets from over-exposure to two-inch LCDs...or that I am a hermit. At any rate, alabaster skin may be the price …
My ongoing tour of mobile video this week brings me to clip casting, the non-linear VOD experience that lets users "snack" on snippets of TV and Web fare, trailers, music vids, etc. I am not sure we know yet what kind of ritual mobile video snacking is or will become, and this is going to be supremely important to the format.
Tuesday night I discovered the best part of having mobile TV. You can watch something really interesting like "The Caine Mutiny" on a handheld, while the two contenders for leading our nation amble through the worst financial crisis in generations on TV.
It's a good thing that the underlying technology of MediaFLO mobile TV is so good, because snappy channel switching is essential to enduring a full-bore broadcast TV schedule on a handheld. I tried it the other night. Never again.
I am getting a chance to browse randomly on my small battery of phones this week, mainly because my daughter discovered "Mad Men." As the son of a 1960s advertising art director, I was in the tank for this series from the first episode. My childhood was awash in chain-smoking existential swaggerers who tried to impress others with their cool disregard for human decency. In this series I get to watch them explore their own souls (once they find them) and search for the hearts of others under the cultural regime of collective repression. Much like the ad men I …