©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.
Steve Jobs was fond of hyperbole. But two years ago, when he declared that “mobile ads suck,” the industry didn’t exactly come back with a flood of counterarguments. How far have they come in that short time? The easy, if incomplete, answer: not far enough. As marketers focus on data targeting and the tactical aspects of mobile advertising, they continue to give short shrift to creative. For all the potential of always-on, Internet-enabled, multimedia devices, mobile ads—both on smartphones and, often, tablets—are still seen as too difficult to make out, bland or just plain ugly.