Clear Channel’s approach to Mobile looks flawed

September 18th, 2013 by Simon Bollon

Clear Channel start the conversation by urging us to accept the concept is in the early stages of development and as such I am mindful of being critical of a valid attempt to integrate mobile into their inventory of high street 6 sheets

However, my initial reaction is that it’s flawed

What is it?
They have developed creative that sits on the frame of a ‘bus’ panel that has both NFC and QR capacity and are encouraging advertisers to drive people to engage with them via one of the two methods. Creative examples range from references to the panel (which clearly sits outside of the creative ad space) or in one example of Asda they have a whopping arrow on the creative pointing to the iterative panel.

Why are they doing this?
Well essentially because they know mobile is critical to both advertisers and consumers. They also accept that engagement is key (71% of people perceive a brand more positively if the brand is willing to interact with them).

Agencies are under ever increasing pressure to provide numbers to support every initiative. Good solid creative is no longer enough, we need numbers to compare and an ability to justify everything and this provides some numbers. Numbers that won’t represent eye balls, impact or aesthetic engagement but hey, it’s numbers none the less!

Why is it flawed?
Firstly, I’m a little old school and believe in the power of creative. Good, well positioned, on-brand creative is powerful. Consumers are compelled, engage when excellent creative is used and are quite happy using that Google thingy to find a brand!

I’m also concerned that not enough people understand NFC or QR codes….and I am convinced lots of people have never even heard of them so if you really want to measure then a unique reference URL will do the job. Simple really?!

Further, a staggering 26% of websites referenced on outdoor poster sites are directing the audience to a none mobile enabled site meaning  low engagement and a poor user experience.

I get the idea. I understand that they are trying to keep pace with technology, engage, perform and provide a platform for measuring but I just don’t think consumers are ready for it and I don’t know why we would recommend it versus integrating engagement and response into the creative…isn’t that what every price of creative should do already?