Feeds

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

Media types with mobes bore Reg hack to tears

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
Surprise: if you work from home you need the Internet
Buffer-rage sends Aussies out to experience road rage
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
MOST iPhone strokers SPURN iOS 8: iOS 7 'un-updatening' in 5...4...
Guess they don't like our battery-draining update?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.