Feeds

Hey, media barons: The noughties called, they want their mobile tech back

Media types with mobes bore Reg hack to tears

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

The last major keynote of Mobile World Congress saw speakers from ratings giant Nielsen, advertising agency Tribal DDB Worldwide, CNN International and developing world mobile firm Jana take the crowd through how the media - that is to say advertising - relates to mobile.

If listening to the speakers from NTT DoCoMo is like listening to someone from the future, then listening to people from the advertising industry talk about mobile is like listening to people from the past. They think that because using posters and radio is a century-old technology it’s somehow modern to use ideas that have been floating around the mobile industry for over a decade.

I remember talking to an advertising agency about the value of sending adverts directly into people’s pockets. He worked for Nike’s agency so I mocked up a Swoosh using my Psion to create a Nokia picture message on my shiny new Nokia 3310... That was in 2000.

So when Paul Gunning, chief exec at mega advertising agency Tribal DDB Worldwide starts telling us that mobile is great because you can sell to people who are sitting in their cars, it’s hard to stifle a yawn. He showed some novel ways of doing posters – but that’s what advertising creatives are paid to do – be creative. He also talked about location-based advertising in a way that you would have heard at any one of a number of Mobile Monday meetings when Tony Blair was prime minister. There was none of the cool stuff, no use of mobile social media, no augmented reality, and – surprisingly for Mobile World Congress – no NFC loyalty.

He even said: “We have to be in mobile because that’s what our clients want.” An agency is supposed to lead in reaching the consumers, not follow. This is a shame because one of Tribal's clients is McDonalds, which was an early entrant into the game of promotional SMS. But Gunning's way of persuading the audience in the pre-lunchtime presentation slot to eat at the Golden Arches was to show them ... a picture of a burger. What a missed opportunity! He could have bluetoothed a voucher to an audience which had more smartphones per head than Silicon roundabout. The picture didn’t even have a QR code with it.

There were no metrics of usage, either. But that's what could have come from Susan Whiting, the vice chair of ratings company Nielsen. Unfortunately Whiting is very senior, perhaps too senior to have real contact with the company’s mobile division. So we didn't get any of the stats and mobile metrics you would have hoped for from a, er, ratings agency... Whiting proceeded to trot out stuff the mobile industry has been saying for years. Did you know that apps are important and that the top applications people use are Facebook, YouTube and Google? Did you know that a torch is an important feature for people with no access to electricity in the emerging market? Hello, this is 2007 calling: I want my Nokia 1200 back.

Whiting might have gotten the gig because she is a big cheese, but really they could have found someone, such as ComScore’s Jeremy Copp, who understands more about mobile.

They did find two people who understood mobile in the next two speakers. Peter Bale from CNN had gauged the mood of the conference accurately enough to apologise for using iPhone screen shots, he echoed the understanding of the speakers in early keynotes that the emerging world is where we need to look for the growth in the mobile web, and added that 43 per cent of African traffic to the CNN website comes from mobile, despite very low African smartphone penetration.

Usually the later presentations - this was the sixth of seven - at MWC are the more interesting ones, but this year it was not the case. What was missing? A bit of controversy, a few speakers from the handset manufacturers – Nokia’s Stephen Elop was the only one this year – and it oh so badly needs questions from the audience. Perhaps next year. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.