It’s a simple truth: mobile advertising is annoying. But there’s another, less-talked-about simple truth: it doesn’t have to be!
I love my apps and I’ll always savor the option to download a free, ad-supported version of an app rather than drop a buck or two. Why argue with free, especially when it’s an app I may not overly excited about? So I know when I’m buying an ad-supported app and I know how important ads are to the bottom-line revenue of many mobile apps, but I’m still going to complain about them. Talk about first world problems, huh?
As a loyal Android user, I have seen several types of mobile ads, but the most common of them is the ‘AdMob’ banner, the bane of mobile gamers everywhere. You know it: it’s the ad banner that sits in a select place on the screen, often at the top. AdMob tries to not be intrusive, but it takes up just enough screen real estate to be an issue. It’s incredibly easy to accidentally tap it, which brings your app use or your game to a screeching halt.
People who are bothered by AdMob may prefer another common option: ads that are sent straight to your notification bar. Although this will prevent ads from interrupting your game or app, these ads are usually sent at random times, even if you haven’t used the app in awhile. As far as I’m concerned, my notification bar is for text messages, updates and emails. Important stuff. Nothing is more annoying than feeling your phone buzz and checking it, only to find an ad!
Of course, AdMob and notification ads have nothing on the full screen ads that completely take over your phone and interrupt whatever you’re trying to accomplish. The next step in annoyance will be to add sound and video. Please, please, please don’t ever do this — this is why we invented AdBlock for browsers.
But I think there are creative ways to get around these problems. Why not create ads that requires direct user interaction to function? Make them fun and clever. An optional minigame that exposes the ad’s branding could be fun and profitable! The trick to good advertising is to forget that the user is being advertised to. Advertisers, do yourself a favor: invest in a more subtle approach and cloak your ad in something cool that ties directly to the app. No one wants to pay for an annoying experience!