What Google Advertisments on Mobile Phones Might Look Like

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A new Google patent application on serving advertisements on mobile phones provides a glimpse of what those ads might look like, and what kinds of features might be included with them.

Mobile Phone Ads for Google 1
It might be possible to send a text message to advertisers.

Mobile Phone Ads for Google 2
Or download a coupon to use towards a purchase.

Mobile Phone Ads for Google 3
Images of products could be shown in the ads.

Mobile Phone Ads for Google 4
A call button or a link to the seller’s web site could also be part of the ad.

Those images are just illustrative of some of the ways that mobile advertising might look and function. The patent application provides more details:

Dispatch system to remote devices
Invented by Elad Gil, Shumeet Baluja, Maryam Kamvar, Cedric Beust
US Patent Application 20070022442
Published January 25, 2007
Filed July 21, 2005


A method and system for presenting promotional content to a user of a communication device involves receiving information from a communication device, where the information relates to the communication device, and identifying a result relating to the information that is capable of being presented in a plurality of formats on the communication device, and dynamically selecting a format for the result from among the plurality of formats, and presenting the result in the selected format for display by the communication device.

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18 thoughts on “What Google Advertisments on Mobile Phones Might Look Like”

  1. Not bad. This could be a huge source of income for them. (As if they need it ;)

  2. I think you’re right. The rate of growth of mobile phones makes it an ideal place to develop advertising for.

    The patent tries to focus on the potential for interactivity with these ads, and I think that’s a good approach.

    I could see it becoming a little more sophisticated, too. For instance, instead of just having a single number to call, I could see a restaurant offering one for people to make a reservation and another number to place a takeout order.

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  4. Any mention if how they might determine the optimal display properties based on screen width or similar?

    Does the patent offer any dimension or orientation information for the ad blocks?

    Rgds & thanks

  5. Of course that will be a great source of revenue for Google, but I am more concern about the customer, how will they tackle it. Soon there will be add blocking features in cells too.

  6. I cant wait for the day when I get a message on my phone to go to a NHL hockey game, and when I accept the invite on my phone, it automatically buys my ticket and then the ticket is waiting at the stadium when I show up :) .

  7. Scott,

    I hope that someone from Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, or the National Hockey League reads this post. A truly great way of advertising their sports would be to randomly send text messages to mobile phone users telling them that they had won tickets to a game.


    I expect that the saturation point of ads on phones will be pretty low, and that people will only tolerate so much or not use a service like Google offers if they see too many ads.


    There’s not a lot of detail on specific display properties and different mobile phone capabilities, but they do note that those are things considered in which ads may be shown:

    The rules 84 may also include expected bandwidth information, resolution capabilities, processor qualifications, or other device or network limitations for a particular user or mobile device, which may influence the types of ad formats that are most appropriate for that user or mobile device. The ad service rules 84 may additionally or alternatively include rules pertaining to all mobile device users, or to particular subsets of mobile device users.

    So different sizes of advertisements, and orientation of those ads may be based upon the kind of device used to connect to the service.

    Mike’s trackback link (Understanding Google Maps…) discusses the formatting of a Google SMS based advertisement that he received.

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  10. Same here, Sophie.

    I don’t always carry my phone around with me when I’m just traveling around town, but I usually always do when I take longer trips.

    And local searches have come in useful in those instances. I wouldn’t mind ads either, if like you say Sophie, they are helpful.

  11. Personally I think this will be great. How often are you out and need to look up a shop, place to buy something etc. I really don’t mind ads if they help me find what I’m looking for.

  12. I’ve had people from NYC swear to me that there’s no such thing as a bad pizza place in the City because it wouldn’t last amongst all the competition. :)

    I think you’re right about the manner in which ads are presented being very important, and integral to how successful they may be. There are some search engines that I just don’t use because the ads come close to outnumbering the Web search results.

    With the small screen of a smart phone, it might be easy to oversaturate pages with advertisements. And just having ads appear, without a search, based upon proximity to an advertiser wouldn’t be a good experience at all.

  13. There’s a part of me that doesn’t want to see advertisements come in over my phone. Almost like it’s my personal space and delivering an ad there indicating that someone knew exactly where I was physically located would feel a bit like a violation of my privacy.

    But at the same time it’s easy to see how useful this would be. Say I’m walking along the streets in New York with some friends and we want some pizza. We search and are presented with several pizza parlors nearby along with coupons and directions for our present location.

    I think it depends on how the ads are delivered. If they are presented to me after I search I’d be fine with seeing them, but if they were to start showing up on my phone because I happened to be walking by a store running a sale I would probably turn my phone off pretty fast.

  14. Yes it would be a good idea if google ( the big daddy) do this. The reason is I believe google as genuine authority site which will never do spam and send any spam ads to your mobile phone. Even this will be very helpful to me as I have to travel many times per week so at that time I will be eager to recieve ads but not a work time.

    Its good to have google ads but google should provide some more options with ads. I am sure this will be first technique of marketing and which will become very successful in the near future.

  15. Hi Selena,

    It’s going to be interesting to see how advertising on phones evolves. I’m not really sure that I want to see ads on my phone when I’m searching, but I guess we will see what search providers like Google develop. Thank you.

  16. google is conquering all the web i am thinking now they gona give you code for ads to put in your e-mail footers, and no doubt sooner or later they gona start something for mobile phones as well.

  17. Hi MOin,

    I agree, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Google’s advertising expand to specifically target mobile phone users. It makes a lot of sense for them to do that, especially if they can identify the location of the phone users through something like cell phone triangulation or Global Positioning Satellites, and deliver advertising matching their location.

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