"Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half."
- John Wanamaker, US department store merchant (1838 - 1922)
In current digital advertising, I'd say half would be overly optimistic. In mobile even more so.
Most of the advertising in mobile apps is ... SURPISE other mobile apps. Where are the brands?
The brands are avoiding mobile apps because the apps aren't as effective channel as hoped for. The effective cost per thousand impressions (CPM) for desktop web ads is about $3.50, while the CPM for mobile ads is just $0.75. Print ads, by comparison, can command rates of as much as $100 per thousand impressions. The bulk of advertising still is driven by television. The lower value of digital (and mobile) driven by the lack of effectiveness of these ads. Users simply don't care, don't click and don't convert.
So brands are turning to new ways of engaging with players.
One recent example is what we've been doing with our "new kind of crossword game" Crickler.
Video of the game: Crickler 2: A New Kind of Puzzle
We're working with Ford and their advertising agency to bring Ford themed puzzles to our players in honor of the 150th birthday of Henry Ford. Puzzles about the company, the man and the machines are made available to the players. Here's an example:
Ford promoted these puzzles on the Facebook pages and tweets, we promote to our players via push and in-game messages. We also ran a contest, awarding prizes to players that bragged about solving these puzzles via Twitter.
So what's so great about this?
Well the time to solve a puzzle is minutes, not the second or so a player might take a look at a banner ad or even the 30 to 60 seconds for a video (that they will probabily skip). They are engaging with the brand and it's not forced. It's fun and who knows, it may even sell some cars.