Perhaps one of the most talked about initiatives in the mobile marketing space is mobile advertising.

The mobile device presents a unique opportunity for marketers to engage and interact with consumers like never before.  Given this channel's uniqueness and ability to create the long sought-after one-to-one dialogue with consumers, the expected reach and effect of mobile advertising is, and will continue to be, significant.

Although mobile advertising is being tested in all mobile media areas, including mobile Web, mobile video and TV, and mobile downloads and messaging, the most predominant form is currently mobile Web.

Regional Mobile Internet Trends

Asia continues to dominate the mobile Web as smartphone usage and content innovation increases. The region boasts of some of the most technologically advanced mobile markets in the world and the growing populations and low PC penetrations in Asia’s developing countries further adds to its potential.

China’s mobile Internet users are expected to more than double within five years.  Thailand has been forecasted as the first country to have more mobile Internet users than Web users.  Mobile social networking has become a key driver of mobile Internet usage in Malaysia.  In India, the number of mobile Internet users is expected to cross 260 million in 2015.  Information search and e-mail are seen to be the most used mobile Internet functions in Taiwan.

As developing nations in Asia continue to embrace mobile, consumers and providers continue to adopt the medium, mobile Web is now set to overtake traditional Web usage.  This further opens up innovation opportunities for marketers as they can introduce more mobile services and offer greater quality content.  Mobile Web also allows marketers to offer more targeted, permission-based advertising in turn resolving the issue of spam caused by the more commonly adopted SMS-based marketing campaigns.

Mobile Web Campaigns – Measurement & Adoption

Mobile Web (or WAP) enables a subscriber to access the Internet through mobile-optimized sites from a mobile device.  Mobile Web provides access to a variety of news, information, and entertainment sites, much like what subscribers find in the wired world.  For publishers, the mobile Web environment provides an opportunity for brands to extend their reach to consumers through a highly targeted personal device.

There are many applications consumers can use via the mobile Web. But how, as a brand, do you participate in and measure success from a WAP-based ad campaign?  Measuring a mobile Web campaign's effectiveness is done in a similar way to measuring an Internet campaign's success.  Key terms to know include:

  • Impression: Successful viewing of an ad.  For example, when a subscriber browses a data product (WAP, video, downloadable, or even MMS), ads appear within the content.  Ads are sent to the user's screen by an ad server that reacts to "calls" from the mobile content provider.  An ad impression is recorded each time an ad is called and subsequently displayed on the user's screen.
  • Click rate: User interaction (highlights and clicks) with the ad (banner, text link, interstitial).  Brands can then measure the participation in a campaign through consumer action, whether it's a clickable banner, click to call, or something else.
  • CTR: A click on an ad that takes the consumer to a jump page for more information or to take advantage of an offer. A jump page enables consumers to get more information on the product/service being marketed and creates an opportunity for the consumer to interact with the brand.
  • CPM: A measure used by Internet marketers to price ad banners.  Sites that sell advertising will guarantee an advertiser a certain number of impressions (number of times an ad banner is downloaded and presumably seen by visitors), then set a rate based on that guarantee times the CPM rate.
  • Redemption: The number or percentage of consumers who actually take advantage of a particular offer.  Most often, redemption is tied to mobile couponing applications.

How do you buy mobile Web advertising?  It's similar to buying advertising on the Internet.  Mobile Web banner impressions can be purchased by CPM and can be bought either from publishers who maintain their own mobile Web sites or through a mobile ad network.  Contrary to many published comments on mobile advertising, there's inventory available.  What's unique about mobile advertising is that due to devices' varied sizes, mobile Web banners are optimized to fit the handset the ad is viewed on.  Publishers often request multiple mobile Web banner sizes to ensure multiple devices can be supported.

Once you've bought mobile Web inventory, what types of campaigns can be run?  Options marketers can deploy/include: click to call, landing page information, e-mail capture, and the ability to send text, picture, audio, or video directly from the device.  They can include mobile coupons, banner ads with location information, ads with e-mail registration capabilities, and so on.  The options are limitless.

The good thing about the mobile Web is it's so much like online that brands and consumers find it easy to make the connection. The simplicity of mobile Web will also help to drive overall adoption.  What types of campaigns can be deployed using mobile Web and mobile Web advertising?  Here are a few recent examples of mobile Web campaigns:

The Hyperfactory & Adidas Hong Kong

Background: The +10 Global Challenge saw footballers from around the world forming their own ‘star’ teams of everyday footballers, recruited from the streets in order to compete against each other.  The high profile footballers featured included England stars David Beckham, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole, French players Djibril Cisse and Zinédine Zidane, and German Michael Ballack to name a few.  The +10 campaign was linked to the launch of the limited edition ‘+F50 Tunit’ football shoe.  In Hong Kong, where there was no local celebrity footballer to front the promotion, activities centred on two local personalities, local pop singer Edmond Leung and Sammy, a popular DJ from Commercial Radio 2, who needed to select their teams from an eager public for a playoff.

The objective of the proposed campaign was to create a fully branded mobile Internet experience for fans which promoted both the +10 challenge and the +F50 Tunit shoe by encouraging football fans to sign up for the +10 challenge using the mobile channel.

Solution: The Hyperfactory, in partnership with interactive agency, Rice5, created an exclusive fully branded WAP site to support the campaign.  The made-for-mobile features contained on the site included the MTV-produced videos of the adidas football stars finding their players and playing the game, videos and information about the local +10 Challenge, 3D animation of the Tunit shoe and exclusive wallpaper downloads.  The local information was specifically tailored to the user.  Having selected their preferred position on the team, the user was shown the appropriate recruitment video. The user then chose which team to play for, and in what position, and entered their name, e-mail address and phone number.

The most frequent visitors received adidas merchandise such as key chains and mascots.  Registrants for the actual event were entered into a prize draw to win a pair of the limited edition Tunit shoes and all those chosen to participate in the game received football jerseys.  The winning team also received a cash prize.

Results: The site was in operation for three weeks and in this time, the site received well over 83,000 visits from more than 24,500 unique users.

AdMob & Sony PlayStation

Background: For the launch of their game, Resistance 2, Sony PlayStation worked with the agency Deutsch to create a mobile campaign to engage their audience of males in the 18-24 age group. PlayStation had an integrated media strategy to promote the game and added mobile to their advertising strategy during the final planning stages.  PlayStation decided to try mobile for the first time because they could reach their audience at a larger scale with an engaging, highly measurable, and cost-effective campaign.

Solution: AdMob ran a highly targeted campaign featuring banners and text link ads for the mobile Web.  In addition to selecting a demographic site bundle to reach the target, AdMob layered on device level targeting including traffic from the wireless Internet enabled PlayStation Portable (PSP).  When users clicked through to the mobile site, they found a robust suite of pages with content related to the game.  In addition to being able to watch a video preview of the game, users could read the story of the game and answer trivia questions based on the story to unlock additional content such as wallpaper downloads.


  • Total page views: >238,000
  • Total homepage views: 170,000
  • Total video views: 27,000
  • Total gallery views: 28,000
  • Total story page views: 6,000
  • Locked content: 19,000
  • Free wallpapers: 7,000
  • Wallpaper downloads: 5,000

Mobile advertising is only one of many options available to marketers interested in implementing mobile in cross-media initiatives.  Mobile provides the opportunity to not only repurpose existing content for the mobile device but also to create new channel content.  There's always the option to refine a campaign after it's been deployed.  I encourage marketers to get involved and add mobile to cross-media initiatives.  Start today!


By Rohit Dadwal, Managing Director, Mobile Marketing Association Asia Pacific Limited