I have never actually gone shopping on Black Friday. First, as I think we made plain in my last column, I get easily disoriented in malls to begin with. Add a crowd to the mix and my family would have to send in the search and rescue unit of the mall cops to pull me out. All things considered, it is much better that I try to start my holiday gift shopping on mobile.
This week major mobile game maker Gameloft announced its intentions to curtail Android development, in part because this market has none of the merchandising chops of the iPhone. "On Android, no one is making significant revenue," says Gameloft's head of finance. "We are selling 400 times more games on iPhone than on Android." Some mobile commentators have recoiled from Gameloft's remarks, and even I think Android will be worth pursuing. But it is a common lament I have heard on background for a while from developers.
For the time being, mobile video advertising is at that strange teen stage where it is starting to look like a recognizable grown-up. Smart/App phone technologies and 3G speeds are making the experience truly viable. Like a teen, mobile video looks almost adult, until it opens its mouth. Then you realize it still has a long way to go and lots to figure out.
As much as we like all of those branded apps and leveraging the phone to activate TV programming and out-of-home advertising experiences, users do not always conform to the fantasies of national brands. The mobile competition for mindshare will be fought on the ground, close to home -- and over the information that is most relevant to the user here and now.
You know that catchy little metallic "Droid" voice that emanates from the new Verizon/Motorola/Android device released last weekend? Guess when it stops being cute? About an hour into a traffic jam on I-95, while in a Mini Cooper with two women who have to pee.
Yesterday, some of the media seemed shocked... shocked... to discover that Google was interested in mobile marketing. While the dowry of $750 million seemed overly generous to most of us, the marriage itself is unsurprising. AdMob's self-service model and roots in performance advertising map nicely against Google. Some recent stat from Google revealed that it sees 50 times more searches coming from iPhones than any other mobile source, and AdMob is rumored to have a large share of the display market on that platform. It all makes sense on paper.
Declaring a "year of mobile" has become such a running joke in the industry that even if and when a "year of mobile" does occur, none of us will be willing to say as much. And why bother? But if ever there was a mobile moment, 2010 is going to be it. At last week's OMMA Mobile, I was struck by the quiet confidence of mobile marketers that their time had arrived.
t was starting to sound like a running joke: "We tried to talk the client out of it, but they wanted their app." Panel after panel at last week's OMMA Mobile seemed to echo the same mobile marketing lament. "We tried to tell them -- it didn't fit the brand, distribution was costly, there were better alternatives out there..." Well, at least now we know why there are so many lousy apps with brand names attached to them. To paraphrase Don Draper: The client is always wrong.
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