Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Some of You Remember the Ads You See on Your Phones

Web surfers have trained themselves to ignore the ads they see. Mobile phone users are a different story.

So says a new survey, commissioned by people who would like mobile phone users to pay attention to ads.

MocoSpace, a mobile social network, and Briabe Media, a mobile marketing agency, say 37 percent of phone users they polled are able to recall brands they’ve seen advertised on their phones. Or, at least, they say they can.

The survey results, which you can see embedded at the bottom of this post, are pretty consistent over different ethnic, gender and age groups. Basically, about four out of every 10 people say they can recall ads they’ve seen on their phones.

Those kind of numbers should be encouraging for the mobile ad business, which is supposed to grow dramatically but is still pretty modest.

One important, and/or worrisome, caveat is that poll respondents are most likely to say they remember seeing ads for mobile carriers. The top five most recalled brands are Verizon, AT&T, Wal-Mart, Macy’s and Sprint. (You can see the top 20 in this nifty graphic on the right.)

And perhaps poll respondents are seeing a lot of ads for mobile carriers on their mobile phones. But I wonder if they’re just used to seeing the branding that’s already on their own handsets. Which wouldn’t be nearly as helpful to the nascent mobile ad industry.

Here’s a summary of the research:


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work