By Chantal Tode November 21, 2012 Brands will pour more money into cellular advertisements during the holidays Cellular advertisement budgets are likely to get a big boost this holiday season as retailers and brands look to reach busy shoppers on the one device that is always nearby their smartphones. Savvy brands will funnel more money toward cellular during the holidays in recognition of the growing role that cellular plays in the shopping process. This in turn could generate cellular advertisement costs up as brands compete to reach specific cellular audiences. Were expecting to see a big spike in cellular advertising this holiday season, starting with Black Friday, said Dave Martin, senior vice president of press at Ignited , El Segundo, CA. Its hard to forecast exactly how big, but I wouldnt be surprised if we saw 50 % more spending compared to the same time period last year because of an overall increase in cellular budgets, as well as new brands coming into cellular for the first time, he said. The biggest of the season will still be retailers and software, but I think were going to see a big jump in other categories like financial services and automotive as well. Cellular Sunday The amount of money spent on cellular advertising has been slowly increasingly over the previous few of years but still does not match up how much time consumers spend on these devices. However, this holiday season marketers that already have a presence in cellular will increase their spend here while some brands are likely to be jump into cellular for the first time. The uptick in cellular advertising has already begun in anticipation of Black Friday, when consumers typically do a lot of their holiday shopping. One of the biggest days of the year for cellular advertising could be Sunday, Nov. 25, as marketers look to generate awareness in advance of Cyber Monday the first day again to work after the holiday weekend when many consumers go online to shop for holiday deals. In fact, the Sunday before Cyber Monday last year was the highest cellular traffic day of the entire year on our platform, as consumers were researching products and hunting for the best deals, said Marcus Startzel, general manager of North America at Millennial Press , Baltimore, MD. Advertisers have noticed the increased role cellular plays in the shopping experience, and are responding by shifting spend from traditional channels. Retailers embrace cellular U.S. retailers, in particular, are already active cellular advertisers and are likely to continue their leading role during the holiday period. Brands in the financial, entertainment and travel sectors are also anticipated to increase their cellular advertisement spend during the holidays. The performance and click through rates of cellular advertising in Q3 2012 shows that the North America market is now the leading geo worldwide in phrases of the effectiveness and value of retail led cellular advertising with a 46 % above average click through rate for retail cellular advertising occurring across Q3,said James Macdonald, general manager for Usa at Adfonic , New York. Black Friday, as well as the holiday period in general in North America will generate even steeper growth in high performance retail led cellular advertising in North America during Q4,he said. Advertisement rates could rise The holiday period could also see an increase in cellular advertising costs as need increases. The low advertisement rates in cellular have been a persistent issue for the space as inventory carries on to outpace need. Marketers may find they need to bid higher to compete for the specific traffic they are looking to reach during the holiday season. There will definitely be an increased need for top quality cellular inventory over the holiday season, Igniteds Mr. Martin said. So in any environments where advertisers are competitively bidding for impressions or clicks, we should see an uptick in the bids needed to win the best inventory, he said. But theres also still a massive amount of unsold inventory being moved through cellular advertisement networks that should stay fairly flat as these networks help new advertisers test the market. Some marketers will be looking to get in front of consumers as they use their cellular device insides store to compare prices. This is an optimal time to reach consumers because they are already looking to make a purchase. The holiday season overall is gearing up in cellular advertising and we expect it to be more buoyant than last year and deliver growth from advertisers looking to take advantage of an audience now more than at any time before engaged with showrooming and also price checking in store on cellular devices, in their quest for the best retail deals, Adfonics Mr. Macdonald said. Strong cellular encounters As cellular advertising becomes more popular, it is important for brands to create cellular encounters that catch the consumers attention and generate engagement. This is especially important in the cellular space, where the small screen size on smartphones can be a problem. Rich press and cellular video are a growing focus for marketers in the cellular space, a trend that is likely to continue through the holiday season. However, the predominant format is still likely to be banner advertisements within cellular apps and on cellular sites. However, there is also growth in mid-page units, full page advertisements and leader board formats for performance, sale oriented campaigns, for each Adfonic. Marketers are also likely to place more of an emphasis on focusing on their cellular advertisements to the right audience as focusing on capabilities in the cellular space get more sophisticated. The other major trend that we see impacting this holiday season is the increase in brands focusing on specific audiences, Millennial Medias Mr. Startzel said. Rather than only focusing on building great creative, brands have recognized that they need to deliver this creative to the right people, in the right place, at the right time, and they have found that cellular gives them an opportunity to do so." Final Take Chantal Tode is affiliate editor on Cellular Marketer, New York /