Fad to Forever

#Mobile101: Fad to Forever
January 16, 2018
Chris Faulkner

Jellyshoes and friendship bracelets in the ‘80s.

Beanie babies, Furby, and “The Rachel” haircut in the ‘90s.

Crocs and Snuggies in the 2000s.


They come and go.

But some things originally called a fad end up sticking around forever and becoming indelible parts of our culture.

Take the TV for example.

Back in the late 1930s and 1940s, television was still considered a fad by many, but networks began putting big money behind growing their reach and content.

By the 1950s, over 7 million television sets sat in Americans’ homes.

Fad? Not anymore.

Today we’re watching as the history of targeted mobile advertising unfolds before our eyes.

Mobile advertising is a relatively young advertising medium. Remember the iPhone is only a decade old. In 2007, mobile advertising was estimated at $2.2 billion within a $450 billion global ad industry.

What began as SMS technology evolved with the growth of smartphones, tablets, and apps into “mobile first” advertising that took into account the user’s location as well as their overall experience on the device.

Global ad spending was estimated to grow to $558 billion last year, led by mobile.

Mobile ad spending will have reached $107 billion in 2017 – a $27 billion increase – as internet ad spending overtook television ad spending for the first time and desktop ad spending declines.

Here in the U.S., mobile ad spending rose past $40 billion, as mobile accounted for 75% of online content consumption.

What’s next for targeted mobile advertising?

Reports predict more to be spent on mobile advertising by 2019 than all traditional media combined, except television – remember, that other “fad?”

Globally, mobile ad spending in 2019 is estimated to reach $155.75 billion as desktop remains relatively the same at $93.54 billion. Here in the U.S., mobile ad spending is expected to pass $65 billion by 2020 and reach $72 billion by 2021.

Do we know how far mobile will go? Not yet, but we know for sure …

Mobile’s not going anywhere.

This “fad” is here to stay.