What's in a click through rate? It's easy to point to things like targeting and placement, day-part and relevance, delivery and product. While these can be measured in nice clean numbers, the impact of creative content cannot. With both Google's AdMob and Apple's iAd networks now offering interactive video and interstitial ad units, and the end of unlimited data plans, advertisers are faced with new challenges. They must create content that is special enough, targeted enough and engaging enough to compel users to chew up their bandwidth to consume it.
Some argue that iAd performs better because Apple has the advantage of making the devices that serve ads as well as the benefit of a spendy and technologically sophisticated user base. However, Apple has been accused of alienating advertisers with high entry costs and overbearing demands on content control in its early stages.
Others contend that Google's AdMob has the upper hand because of its ability to advertise on different devices. This is a boon to advertisers because they are able to control a cohesive campaign across different platforms. Google also relinquishes creative control to advertisers, which makes for more creative output. Differences aside, each network has produced highly creative and hugely successful campaigns.
Like this iAd campaign for the Nissan Leaf which is not only creative but also platform specific. It uses the iPhone's touch screen technology to run the ad, which launched inside of the application. Or this Seattle's Best Coffee AdMob campaign, which was also in-app and drove 139k people to the brand's mobile site.
Still in its infancy, interactive mobile advertising is beset on all sides by nagging limitations. But in the words of George Lois: "Creativity can solve almost any problem. The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality, overcomes everything." There is always room, bandwidth, and time for great advertising.