Mobile video, gamification on the rise

Mobile advertising is a burgeoning landscape of revenue opportunity. Its potential is illustrated in a variety of studies and surveys, which should incentivize mobile marketers to strengthen their efforts in the arena.

For one, Forbes cites a Marketing Land report that predicted mobile advertising will be worth between $2.5 billion and $3 billion by the end of 2012, although former Morgan Stanley analyst Mary Meeker projects that in the future, there's the potential for it to reach as much as $20 billion.

These gaudy predictions are assuming that more consumers will upgrade from feature phones to smartphones with internet connectivity. This is likely to become a reality as less technologically-inclined Baby Boomers grow older, narrowing down the mobile marketing audience to those who have already adopted the devices.

Emarketer cites a recent study from data platform provider Millennial Media, which found that during the first quarter of 2012, 73 percent of mobile impressions it served were derived from smartphones, compared to just 7 percent for feature phones.

Another reason mobile is on the rise is because of the growth of mobile video and gaming.

Millennial also found that there was a 958 percent year-over-year increase in mobile ad video views on its platform, while a separate study from Strategy Analytics revealed that in 2011, 108 billion mobile videos were viewed worldwide. Halfway through 2012, that number has already reached 280 billion, notes eMarketer.

Gaming and gamification mark huge opportunities for mobile marketers to reach a large crop of consumers. For instance, on the Millennial platform, gaming was the top app category during Q1 2011, growing 10 percent quarter over quarter, eMarketer adds.

But mobile ad gamification, while engaging, needs to extend beyond "ads where you try to 'kick' a soccer ball into a goal, and are then re-directed to a site where you're given a promotion," The Atlantic explains. This is a crude example of gamification.

A company with a better chance to create engaging gaming ads is Zynga, the firm behind Farmville and other widely played online games. Zynga has around 65 million daily active users, and its advertising revenues grew 117 percent year-over-year in Q1 2012, reaching $28.2 million.

The news source cites an example where Zynga's gamification prowess could come into play. For the upcoming movie "The Dark Knight Rises," Zynga could create a 30-to-60-second Batmobile-themed game that, based on users' scores, can earn them currency to spend in other Zynga games or even a discount on a ticket to the movie.