Evolving Mobile Ads: A Conversation with Crisp Wireless

Today I had the chance to talk with Crisp Wireless CEO Boris Fridman to get more color on the company’s recent launch of its AdHesion product.  In short, it’s a new format for mobile web ad units that are more dynamic than standard banner ads.

This includes unbolting ads from the fixed placement that pushes them off the page when users scroll: they now scroll along with the page.  AdHesion also includes calls to action within the add that expand when clicked: things like Facebook Connect or send-to-email (see flash demo).

The idea is that these ad units replicate the more integrated functionality seen with in-app ads on the iPhone or other platforms. As the mobile web itself becomes more app-like and  more attractive to developers, so should the ad units.  Smart phone penetration in general  (= mobile web use) likewise drives this.

This represents a general philosophy held by Crisp CEO Boris Fridman (echoed by us), that mobile content needs to evolve to the realities of the device, rather than being borrowed from the desktop PC. A moving banner ad, for example, ensures greater exposure in what is otherwise a fleeting impression on a tiny screen.

More developments are on the way, he says, including expandable ad units.  Mobile display ads generally direct clicks to separate landing pages (again, a desktop practice).  With smaller screens and slower connections, keeping a user on the same page with expandable content, makes more sense he argues.

The company is also doing a lot to push more actionable creative into its ads. Rather than just go for branding, the idea is to utlilize the immediacy and buying intent of the mobile user to offer more actionable content.  For example, auto ads that offer the closest dealership, or CPG ads with local promotions, etc.

“These ad units make advertising more effective and generate more dollars in mobile advertising,” says Fridman, “particularly advertising on the [mobile] web.”

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An expanded version of the interview will be available to BIA/Kelsey subscribers.

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