Can media brands really sell platforms? That seems to be the perennial question (mostly unanswered) to accompany the arrival of every new medium. Is anyone really comparing the recognizable media brands that front carrier decks or the respective app stores on mobile phones? Does anyone in their right mind decide between a BlackBerry and an iPhone because some news and information services are on one but not the other?
I'm not sure that Google does itself any favors by releasing some of its "lab" tests into the wild before they have been shaken out. Yesterday the Google Shopper app came onto the Android platform, and I actually had a harder time with it than I did with the Google Goggles experiment that drove me a little batty months ago.
NBC is getting hammered from all sides for its handling of the Olympics. While I am not averse to piling on any big media brand when I can, I think the mobile coverage and the brand advertising I have seen on the mobile iterations are at worst mixed. Maybe the wild unevenness of the content and the marketing supporting it is a good barometer of the half-evolved state of brand advertising on mobile. This should be an event where both publisher and marketer put their best foot forward. Instead, the Olympics effort from both content and ad sides is something …
The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is in. I hate when this happens. I am not a men's mag reader, but when media events and mobile tie-ins like the SI bikini bash occur, this particular issue ends up on the coffee table. Let the games begin. "Do you think she's pretty?" asks my partner.
The tepid initial sales of the Google phone notwithstanding, this is definitely the year to start watching Android. ComScore reports that Android's share of the smart phone market doubled from 2.5% in September to 5.2% by the end of last year. Other stats I see here and there show that Android's share of mobile Web activity is spiking noticeably. I imagine that much of this sharp growth is coming from Motorola and Verizon's DROID-related campaigns.
For several years now, a number of mobilistas like me have been waiting for that breakthrough Super Sunday when somehow the biggest ad event of the year acknowledges, validates or accelerates in some way the advance of mobile marketing. And every year we seem to be disappointed.
I really believe that mobile advertising offers marketers a platform for engagement that fixes some of the problems the Web introduced -- namely clutter, diminishing share of voice, lack of user focus, ad invisibility, and a real tie between ad and context. As I argued in my last piece, the sponsorship model and brand integration with content can be enormously effective on mobile and in ways that never really evolved on the Web. And so, as if on cue, our friend from InsightExpress, Joy Liuzzo, sends me a deck this week on the latest benchmark, cross-campaign studies comparing mobile brand …
Now that a bit of the fervor over branded apps has died down, it has become clearer to a lot of marketers that not every brand translates easily into the kind of utility consumers really want on their phone. Some publishers tell me that they are getting a lot of interest from marketers who want to be sole sponsor of new branded media apps. Instead of buying up a new audience for their branded app, they prefer to align with a tool and a media source brand that has already built an audience.