09 August 2009

Mobile Advertising Solution : AdMob

Like I said some days ago, I'm currently looking for the best ads solution to use in VGTrailers, my Flash Lite developer challenge entry.

I contacted 6 companies and got 4 replies.
I already reviewed Smaato, I'll now review AdMob

AdMob is the solution I'm currently using on my mobile version of WillNa
I really like their publisher program, with analytics, smart support and their Google group.
Plus their new House Ads product seems very interesting : include ads for others of your products on your site or app...for free !
I also note they are one of the ads networks Smaato is linked to...

Their solutions includes Web, pittyPhone and Android support...but no longer 'any' client support.
They abandonned the Client Solution early this year, right when I was about to use it.
So, while my AS code was ready, I had to look back to existing mobile ads solutions.

Why, if they dropped their Client Solution, AdMob is still a solution ?
Because the xhtml their api gives back is easy to parse.

If you want to know more about their API, you should browse their AdMob for Developers Wiki.

Using urlencoded key/value pairs parameters, you could ask for an ad.
You should use ma=xhtml&f=html_no_js to get a useful return.
Good points, a 'test' parameter let you make test (only text) and an optional 'k' (keyword) parameter will help you to get targetted ads. Hint : don't use 'search', it won't return anything on false search!
Bad points for Flash Lite developer, you NEED to send ip, user agent and headers.
And no way to ask for a specific ads size (even MMA's one)....

Like you know, you can't retrieve ip, user agent and headers within Flash Lite.
To bypass this problem, I wrote a server side PHP script which gives them back to my Flash Lite app...
But it means you had to make 2 requests to got your first ad !
1 - get ip, user agent and headers
2 - using these data, ask for ads
On some phones, Flash Lite player won't let you make 2 requests on the same frame...
So you need to handle this problem using a frame to ask information THEN, on success, jump to the frame which ask for ads.

It's not that easy, unfortunatly.
The tests I made with my AdMob renderer were successfull but I didn't test on a lot of REAL platforms.

Besides technical point, I still don't understand why they support pittyPhone & Android but not Flash Lite or J2ME or WiMo....
They aren't alone, a lot of others ads network got a SDK for each platform, so it seems I'm missing a point : why not use a common API ?!
If you have hint, post a comment please !

Their previous Client Application solution was very easy to use, if they ever re-open it, I will be the first to promote it but, waiting for this time, I'll avoid my 'hacked' solution.
I personnaly will use it ONLY if I don't find a better solution and, only after tests on more phones....

See you soon for the 2 others reviews !


Anonymous said...

Hi William, have you taken a look at Tapjoy? (www.tapjoy.com)

We provide a single SDK that you can drop into your app use to serve ads from 7 different ad networks, including AdMob. Why lock into a single ad network when you can have 7 and dynamically allocate traffic to each after you launch you app?

I'd love to chat more; if you're interested shoot me a note: partners at tapjoy dot com.


William Gregoire said...

For everyone else, I contacted tapJoy : pittyPhone only.

Unknown said...

hello William,

I wanted to integrate admob in my blackberry application for ads, can you plz help me how this can be done.

Thanks Sudha

Anonymous said...

Hi William, please recomand a good Mobile Advertising for J2ME platform. Thanks.