Show Your Ads on Cell Phones For Free

Google announced today that they’re rolling out a beta test of search ads on mobile phones. All your clicks will be free until November 19, 2007 – coincidentally (or not?) the 48th anniversary of the Ford Motor Company’s announcement that they were discontinuing the Edsel. Hmmm…

Straight from the Googleplex:

In the next few days, your search ads will be eligible to run on Google Mobile Search pages (like they currently do on We are offering this feature – and any resulting clicks – for free through November 18, so you can experiment with the rapidly growing mobile platform while still reaching qualified customers.

What should a mobile ad say, do, or be? To answer that, let’s think for a minute of the last time you wished you had access to Google, but all you had was your web-enabled mobile or smart-phone. What did you want to find out? How time-sensitive was the need? How much information did you need before making a buying decision?

For me, it’s usually something about finding healthy vegetarian sandwiches or Chinese food without MSG somewhere in central Pennsylvania. Or getting a phone number for something trip- or car-related. Most of the other searches I’d like to do are just random itches – I’m afraid that I’ll forget about them when I’m next in front of a computer.

My guess is that the effective mobile ads will be related to the availability of commodity stuff in the vicinity of the searcher. The brand shouldn’t matter that much – just that you have them in stock and you’re only 2 miles away. Food, automotive, and other in-transit categories will probably dominate.

What ads would you find helpful to to see on your mobile phone? Post your thoughts to comments.

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