The common perception among advertisers is that mobile ads lack the disruptive quality that make print and TV impressions so valuable. But new research suggests that users find mobile ads far more interruptive -- and annoying -- than those on TV.
A study released today from market-research firm Forrester shows that a majority of mobile users (70%) surveyed said that automatically served in-app ads were interruptive. Additionally, two-thirds of respondents found them annoying, higher than the percentage of respondents who said they are annoyed by TV and web-based advertising.
"People are very finicky about how they want to be advertised to," said Peter Dille, CMO for Tapjoy, the mobile advertising company that commissioned the report. "On their mobile device, that 's become heightened because it's such a highly personal experience. Being interrupted while checking email and using apps is not desirable."
In general, the report provides a dismal picture of the current state of mobile ads. Only 12% find them engaging, 14% think they're relevant and 17% think they're interesting, for example. The respondents seem to agree with the late Steve Jobs, who famously once said, "mobile advertising really sucks" (and then launched iAd in hopes of fixing that .)
Despite having a decidedly negative view of mobile advertising, a significant portion of mobile users were open to mobile ad targeting based upon their personal interests (49%) and current location (43%).
But Mr. Dille said that mobile advertising remains valuable as long as brands take advantage of mobile users' unique advertising preferences. Specifically, that means affording mobile users the opportunity to shape how they're advertised to and offering them incentives for doing so.
Users' most-frequent (68% of respondents) request regarding mobile ads is that they don't interrupt app usage. A majority (59%) of respondents said they want to be rewarded for interacting with an in-app ad, while nearly 40% said they prefer to choose which ad they want to see from a host of options.
"From an agency perspective, people should take a fresh look at this," Mr. Dille said. "Let the user opt in and get a reward for their engagement. That way, the brand has an opportunity to be the hero.Tapjoy Mobile Study