Are Mobile Ads The New Television Ads?

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In the first of our new series on mobile advertising, our digital advertising executive takes a look at why brands need to take account of how important mobile ads are to the next generation of consumers.

The world’s first television advert was broadcast in 1941, in the United States, for a watch company. The first UK television advert was broadcast over a decade later in 1955, on the brand new ITV (the BBC, meanwhile, was so concerned about the introduction of a commercial channel that it killed off a key character from The Archers to ensure that it would dominate the next day’s headlines). From then, the ascension of television spots to the most popular and sought-after advertising platform was dizzying, with more than 69 million homes owning at least one television set in the US by the 1970s.

Over 60 years on, moving image advertising has moved through the digital age, with a record £8.61bn spent on digital advertising in the UK last year digital ad spending surpassed tv spending in the US for the first time, in 2016.

Now, with an estimated 6.1 billion smartphone users worldwide by 2020, and 4G network speeds, a mobile television has effectively been placed in every consumer’s pocket. Could mobile ads be as big a milestone in the world of advertising as television adverts?

Whilst many are arguing that, with age of millennials reaching its peak in the coming decades, habits are set to change yet again with the arrival of Generation Z (those born after 1995). Generation Z are digitally native, and their media engagement is much higher than millennials. According to a survey of young people born before 1995 by by Wildness, if left with only one device, zero out of 10 would choose to keep their televisions, and nine out of ten watch YouTube daily.

However, according the same study, 88% of Generation Z participants take intentional digital breaks and head straight to what they’re looking for on their mobile, with 84% multitasking, which makes gaining their attention a much more difficult task for advertisers. Highly engaging mobile video should be of the utmost importance to brands designing any new campaign aimed at millennials or Generation Z.

Next week, we’ll look at how you can make the most of programmatic advertising, and advertising via Facebook, YouTube, and Sky AdSmart.

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