Mobile Messages Gain Awareness

NEW YORK Awareness of mobile ads has accelerated, per the new Limbo-GfK Technology Advertising Report being released this week. A record 104 million people (or an estimated four in 10 Americans) recalled seeing an ad on their mobile device between July and September — the highest mark since the report was introduced last year.

“Brands are doing more with mobile, spending more,” said Rob Lawson, founder of Limbo, a mobile social networking community. “Only two years ago they didn’t see it as a channel where they would see ads. Now they are increasingly aware. One hundred and four million isn’t the same as TV, but the audience is significant.” The survey was based on responses from 1,000 adults polled via the phone.

Text messaging proved to be the most commonly viewed form of mobile advertising. Sixty million Americans saw a text ad, a 42 percent increase from just nine months ago. “It’s not as glamorous as mobile video, but mobile is still dominated by text. It’s the medium consumers use every day,” said Lawson. Marketers are also embracing text campaigns “because in tight economic times, direct response [media] hold steady or go up.”

Thirty-one million people, meanwhile, viewed mobile Web ads. Despite its smaller reach, companies like Procter & Gamble and American Express are most interested in purchasing mobile banner ads, said John Hadl, CEO of Brand in Hand, which handles mobile buys for both. “It has surpassed SMS as the mobile ad medium of choice. Mobile ads have arrived.”

Men (57 percent) were more likely to view an ad on their mobile device. Fifty-two percent are between the ages of 35-64 and most (68 percent) were Caucasian. It’s not just about early adopters anymore, said Lawson. “As mobile matures as a medium, you can see the demographic profile flattening to look more like the population.”