The report studies 450 consumers’ reactions toward mobile advertising in seven cities in China, across tiers one to three. IFOP Asia was OMD's research partner.
The study is arguably the first of its kind to explore tier-by-tier differences in attitudes toward mobile ads, versus other reports on usage and consumption on mobile devices.
The growth of mobile in China has been well documented, with the number of mobile internet users in 2014 almost doubling, according to CNNIC. Mobile adspend in China has, in tandem, increased significantly in the past few years, but this increase still has not matched the growth of time spent and traffic passed through mobile.
The gap, apart from the accepted perception that marketers have a lack of understanding about the impact of mobile advertising, may be due to consumers having polarised viewpoints on mobile ads.
The report found that while a large majority of respondents (89 per cent) are annoyed by mobile ads, these same people also believe they are interesting (75 per cent) and even necessary (94 per cent).
This is why 53 per cent of people who accidentally click on a mobile ad will read at least a quarter of the landing page. People who are annoyed by mobile advertising will still notice them, though only 2.9 per cent of them are likely to purchase the product/service advertised.
However, more consumers in tier-three cities choose to ignore (52 per cent) mobile advertising than in tier-one (22 per cent) and tier-two cities (31 per cent).
While what consumers want from mobile ads is not so different from what they look for in all other ads, practical information was the most cited reason for engaging with mobile ads (45 per cent).
Notably, the research has also revealed what OMD called "myths" around mobile ads such as that they waste mobile bandwidth, drain smartphone batteries, or interfere with the operation of apps. These are opportunities for brands to break the "misperception" and inertia toward mobile ads, stated OMD.