I wrote a post not too long ago about the future of advertising. In it, I asserted that the internet was the future of advertising. To be more specific, mobile internet is the future of advertising. And it presents an even greater challenge to advertisers than the regular internet: they have less viewable space to work with and lower connection speeds, at least for the time being. But today, upon perusing the New York Times' iPhone application I saw the coolest mobile phone ad ever. I took some screen shots below.
First, a new full-screen appears temporarily overlaying the application that looks like this:
By "drive" it means you can actually rotate the iPhone to interact with the ad, making it like a sort of video game to go towards the deals that appear. It works like this:
Then eventually, you zero in on a deal that interests you and tap it for more information:
I'm not saying that this ad is perfect. I don't know that I'd bother playing or interacting with it a second time. But the first time I saw it, it definitely caught my attention. And that's a lot more than could be said for most mobile application ads, which generally appear as annoying banners at the top or bottom of your screen. Generally, I carefully try to keep my finger away from those at the risk of accidentally leaving what I'm doing to view a website in Safari.
Determining slick ways for consumers to interact with ads has to be something that advertisers strive for in the future -- especially with mobile devices. It isn't easy getting people to care about ads, but giving them some power over the advertisement is one great strategy.