What do you picture when you hear the words “mobile advertising banners”? Probably some 2 or 3 frame, unengaging, pixelated GIF that reminds you of the web in the 1990s. While it’s true they often get a better click through rate than online, this is usually down to the fact that it’s the largest graphical element on the mobile screen.

Mobile banners haven’t really changed much in the last 4 years, however phones have improved beyond recognition with faster processors, 3G capabilities and better screens. However just as important is the improvement in handset targeting by advertising networks, this enables mobile websites to serve ads based on the capabilities of each phone model – so basically serving better ads to better phones.

As you know the mobile landscape is changing, Apple and Google both are now owners of the hardware, software and advertising networks. This means they completely control the mobile advertising eco-system for their handsets, free from the constraints that have handicapped creativity in this part of the industry for so long.

In the future advertising units & banners will have access to features on the phone, either through Flash, Flash Lite or HTML5. We’ve already seen Google’s ‘Near Me Now’ function on its website which directly accesses the phones GPS unit to provide shops and restaurants nearby. I think it’s only a matter of time before we see the accerometer used in the same way.

For those of you who don’t know, the accelerometer is the component in the phone which measures tilt, motion, shaking and swinging. It is responsible for sensing if the handset is portrait or landscape and switches the display accordingly. The iPhone was arguably the first real phone to ultilise it fully within its user interface and applications.

Aaaand did you know that Flash Lite 3.0 already has the power to access to data from the accelerometer on phones such as the Nokia 5800? Flash developers head here and here for example code. Oh and Flash Lite works WITHIN the browser so the following examples can be done today! (I’ll be covering this more in my next post)

Enough talking fool, show me some examples!

So what kind of unique, engaging, mobile-only experiences could you create using this technology?

Here are some examples of online banners that would fit perfectly with the accelerometer and the mobile web. These are a mixture of Flash banners and whole page takeovers, they inspired me and hopefully they’ll get your imagination and creative juices flowing about the possibilities of mobile advertising.

Wario Shake It

This is absolutely perfect for mobile, shaking your phone to set off all the elements falling. Plus Flash Lite has access to the vibration on the phone so this could shake the phone too!. Check it out here

Fiat ABS Banner

Imagine interacting with this by tilting your phone. Great Ad.

Fiat Engine Power Banner

Another great banner. Simple but effective, could be activated by tilting the phone.

Gulliver Used Car Banner

This banner advertises used car trading, hence the continuous swapping of drivers.  Imagine flipping your phone upside down to interact.

Burger King – Banner Of Doom

Probably the greatest banner of all time. As the screen begins to shake, so could the phone (this functionality is available in Flash Lite). Click here to view.

The functionality to create all this stuff is already available but nobody seems to be taking to first steps and putting cool stuff out there even at proof of concept stage. When I get some time I’ll throw together a few real life examples and get it on video to put on the site.