By Daniel Hunter

Mobile media-buying data from M&C Saatchi Mobile shows brands and advertisers spent 150% more on mobile ad display prices over the course of the London Games. This was mainly across news and sports websites within UK as brands competed for valuable and highly competitive advertising space.

Highlighting the growth of advertising on mobile devices, principally around the Olympics, Alan Wurtzel, president of research and media development for NBC Universal, said live streaming trebled to 45 million, 3 times the number at the Beijing Games four years previously.

This was at a time when smartphones were yet to take a firm position within the marketing mix and tablets were not part of the advertising landscape, at all. In contrast, demand for mobile advertising and social media marketing services helped M&C Saatchi to more than double its pre-tax profits last year.

The M&C Saatchi Mobile data reveals considerable spikes in RTB-based mobile ad display rates around key events in the Olympic schedule. According to M&C Saatchi Mobile, the top five events creating these spikes were:

1. Opening Ceremony
2. GB Super Saturday 4th
3. Closing Ceremony
4. 100m Men's Final
5. Cycling, Wiggins

A notable surge in mobile ad prices was recorded by M&C Saatchi Mobile during the evening on Saturday August 4 — so-called “Super Saturday”, when Team GB won three Olympic Gold medals over a single 45-minute period. During this time, mobile display ads prices rose, to significant effect.

“The London 2012 Games had been labelled the ‘Social Media Olympics’ — however, mobile online media is also playing its part, which has given brands and advertisers a key opportunity to engage with consumers via their mobile phone,” said James Hilton, M&C Saatchi Mobile CEO.

“Whether it’s watching live streaming of events, catching up on medal-winning highlights, or reading the latest news from the Olympic Park, UK consumers have used their mobiles to stay on top of all the action at London 2012.”

Due to the anticipated, now unfounded demand for the 3G networks, M&C Saatchi Mobile saw the increased spending on WiFi inventory surge beyond 30% as brands favoured WiFi networks.

Recorded since the start of the London Olympics, M&C Saatchi Mobile’s media-buying data also shows the important added accuracy and value that geo-targeting provides to advertisers using the mobile platform. More than 50%, a 100% increase, of mobile display ads served during the Games used location to target consumers in London specifically, visitors to the Olympic Park area in Stratford through WiFi opportunities. Mobile location-based campaigns included money-off deals, relevant download opportunities, and other promotional offers from brands and companies with an outlet or presence in the city.

“Mobile advertising has given brands and companies an intelligent and highly segmented channel to reach consumers," Hilton added.

"Our data shows that brands and advertisers are prepared to invest in granular mobile campaigns that utilise platform and device type, location and time to reach consumers - ahead of the competition.”

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