Ads on Mobile Phones Now the Norm

Advertising on mobile phones is becoming an increasingly mainstream phenomenon, to judge by a Limbo-GfK Technology Mobile Advertising Report released today. (Limbo is a mobile social network whose free services to members are supported by the revenue from mobile ads.)

Thirty-three percent of Americans with mobile phones said they recalled seeing mobile advertising during the fourth quarter of 2008. Among those with iPhones, the figure was even higher, at 41 percent. “The vast majority of these ads were seen in SMS text messages,” the report noted.

What do people do when they receive mobile advertising? One-third of those who recalled getting such ads said they “responded in some way,” with the most common form of response being to call a toll-free number included in the message: “16 percent of ad-aware consumers recall doing this.” Women were almost twice as likely as men to say they responded in some way to a mobile ad they’d received. In a breakdown by age, 18-24-year-olds were the most likely to report having done so. Perhaps most encouraging for advertisers, says the report, “is the fact that one in seven people also reported that they had bought a product or visited a store as a result of seeing a mobile advertisement.”

Among other tidbits from the report: “More than 162 million consumers used text messaging in the fourth quarter of 2008,” up 16 percent from fourth-quarter 2007. Ten percent of Americans with mobile phones used location-based services in last year’s fourth quarter, with the figure rising to 22 percent among 25-34-year-olds.