AOL's consolidated ad serving and technology unit, Platform A, has introduced ad optimization for the iPhone. According to a press release out this morning:
When an iPhone user is browsing sites within the Third Screen Media mobile network, the Advertising.com web network, or any of AOL’s leading media properties, Third Screen Media’s targeting technology will serve an ad specifically optimized for viewing on an iPhone. In addition to optimizing ads for the iPhone, Third Screen Media can redirect iPhone users to special versions of marketers’ sites that are optimized for the iPhone experience.
If I understand this correctly it addresses the issue and challenge of viewing ads on "full HTML" mobile browsers, in this case Safari. But there are also Opera, Skyfire, Opera Mini, the forthcoming mobile IE and Firefox, as well as Android's browser. We've written in the past that if these browsers become the dominant gateway to the mobile Internet, instead of WAP or, to a lesser degree, apps, then it creates problems for mobile advertising because ads are small and/or maginalized on the page.
Platform A may have just solved the problem.
Competing mobile ad network AdMob has created special, optimized ad units for the iPhone and iPhone applications.
I spoke with AOL after writing this and confirmed that my reading of the press release was correct. Here are examples of conventional advertising (from the Internet) presented in the Safari browser and the same unit optimized for the iPhone.
AOL also said that it can do this for other, similar browsers: Skyfire, Opera, Android, etc. However the company said that this capability would only be available to advertisers participating in its network and not a stand-alone technology or capability it would otherwise license or make available to publishers and advertisers not participating in one of the Platform A company networks.
AOL also will optimize landing pages or microsites in similar fashion for the iPhone.