As with most types of advertising, few consumers express an interest in receiving mobile ads, according to a recent study which tested a number of mobile advertising scenarios with consumers.

‘Mobile Life’, a global study of 48,000 people in 58 countries from research group TNS, found that no more than one in five Australians are interested in receiving ads via their mobile phone, regardless of whether they’re relevant to their interests, location or current search behaviour.

This came as no surprise to executive director at TNS, Jonathan Sinton: “If you ask any consumer if they’re interested in advertising they’re likely to say no.” But despite the low interest on a surface level, non-intrusive mobile advertising holds great potential if targeted by context or location, Sinton says.

“Looking at some of the campaigns that we’ve worked on with a mobile component, mobile tends to stand out. It’s more clear, it’s top of the page and the simplicity of delivery is much easier for consumers than going to a mainstream website and having four other adverts there.”

For consumers that were interested in receiving mobile ads, the relevance of interest trumped location and search as target points. One in five expressed an interest in receiving ads related to something they’re interested in, while only 13% were interested in deals based on their current location (a figure below global interest levels) and 17% if related to something they’ve searched for. Membership in loyalty programs appears not to indicate interest in unsolicited mobile ads, with only 8% receptive to this option.

The study also found that 58% of Australians are using mobile internet, a practice as high as 79% among younger age groups and more prevalent among women than men, at 65% to 52%.

Use of mobile internet, as well as a range of other mobile features, was found to be consistent throughout the day, apart from during dinner times, when it dips, and later in the evenings, when it peaks.

time of day chart