Mobiles used to be those things that mesmerised babies lying in their cots, although frequently leaving them with a puzzled frown on their face.
Now they’re those things which mesmerise half the world’s population for most of their waking life, although frequently blah blah blah.
In our industry, people have been rabbiting on about Mobile for ever. Or for the last 4 years anyway, which is pretty much the same thing. Mobile is the new internet. Mobile is the new Simon Cowell. Mobile is the new Croque Monsieur.
Well, a breakfast at Patisserie Valerie last Tuesday totally convinced me.
This was one of those Albion Society breakfasts I’ve blogged about before. In this case the title was “The Revolution Will Be Mobilised” - which I love.
Simon Andrews kicked it off, at a blistering pace and with a blizzard of statistics.
At the time of the dotcom bubble, there were 350 million people online. There are currently 400 million people with smart phones.
In February of this year, smartphones outsold PCs.
This isn’t coming – this has already come and then rolled over and fallen asleep.
Simon’s view is that very soon fixed-access internet will seem as strange as fixed phone-lines now look.
I.e. You’ll see it on repeats of old TV programmes, and in your granny’s house – but nowhere else.
It was interesting when he talked about how there is still such resistance to this – the ad industry put more money into cinema ads last year than they did into mobile advertising.
I never cease to be amazed at how resistant this industry is.
I’d like to think that agencies’ reluctance to dive in has been influenced by the still unresolved issues of health concerns relating to mobile. But then again I’d like to think that I look as good all the time as when I suck my stomach in, and that just isn’t true.
The fact is that the ad industry advertised cigarettes long after conclusive medical evidence of their harmfulness and also put ads into The Jeremy Kyle Show long after it had been proved to destroy brain cells.
Raam Thakrar spoke next about how to make money out of all this – there, you really wish you’d gone now, don’t you ?
Clive Dickens of Absolute Radio was up after him, and he also demonstrated how clients can be several life-times ahead of the average ad agency employee. The brand’s commitment to mobile is awesome, (65% listening via digital platforms vs an industry average of 25%) including some hugely innovative iAd executions.
As he said, you’ve got to “go where your audience are”.
As Simon had said earlier, this is quite different from going where the average ad agency’s skill sets currently reside.
How many ad agencies could talk helpfully to their clients about how to use mobile ?
(Answers via a sister company, please.)
One bit I loved from Clive’s talk was when he attacked the old-fashioned metrics which the ad industry still uses. Barb, Rajar, etc.
As he said – Google doesn’t estimate anything. Google knows.
And finally Mark Curtis talked very seductively about his online flirting business Flirtomatic. (Sometimes you just KNOW you’re in the wrong business - but it can be rough to have your nose rubbed in that fact quite so firmly). And then he left us with a creative provocation.
Mobile, he said, is the first medium to really push beyond its own frame.
All media try to do this – it’s part of being creative. But mobile is doing stuff with GPS and Augmented Reality which is genuinely mind-f*cking.
It’s buckling the frame out of all recognition and putting it out on the street for the council to pick up.
We are on the brink of a revolution. To quote Wordsworth, Bliss was it that dawn to be alive, but to hear all about it while munching a croissant from Patisserie Valerie was very heaven.