“Don’t think of mobile as advertising... think of it as an extension of people” – Q&A with MOMAs judge Indy Saha, Google Creative Lab

Ahead of the judging of the MOMAs, The Drum speaks to one of the judges, Indy Saha, Google Creative Lab's director of creative strategy, to talk Google Glass and how marketers can decide on what to invest on mobile.

Google Glass – is it worth the excitement or overhyped? And why?

Google Glass is amazing! Naturally you would expect me to say that, but I have been using mine for about four months now and it allows you to interact with the world around you in a very different way, not having to constantly look down at your mobile devices but allowing you to look at the world around you and serving up the right information when you need it.

What was your favourite mobile campaign or event in mobile of 2013?

Chrome Super Sync Sports.

What is the most exciting event in mobile that you expect from 2014?

Oyster card on my phone’s NFC.

According to the IAB, media agencies are diverting on average 15 per cent of digital spend towards mobile – how do you see that trend developing over the coming months?

I am not sure in the coming months the spend will change much, as it could be difficult to provide the type of performance metrics that a lot of clients demand. Until then, it will be part of the “innovation/experimental” budgets for clients.

Mobile is still a problem for many marketers when it comes to judging how much to spend – is there any advice you would offer to them in determining how important it is for their marketing communications to run across mobile devices?

I would suggest two things:

  1. Don’t think of your mobile activity as advertising or communications. Mobile is a personal and intimate environment, where people don’t want to have commercial messages bombarded at them. Instead, the mobile is an extension of people, so how can you help people do things they would normally do, better? How do you take this multimedia context-aware device into the area of indispensible utility?
  2. Understand how your mobile device works in a complementary way with computers – not in isolation. Look at user behaviours: when is a mobile used at the same time as the desktop? Are there journeys that begin first on mobile and then continue on desktop? For example, think of shopping behaviours – people in stores use mobile to do a quick price comparison in store, but then continue their research at home on their desktops.

What mobile devices do you own?

Phones: iPhone 4s, Nexus 5

Tablets: iPad, Kindle, Nexus 7

Wearables: Google Glass

I also own, but no longer use: first generation iPod (with firewire drive!), a Microsoft Zune, Playstation Portable and Gameboy)

If you could or planned to upgrade or change – which ones would you choose?

Happy where I am, but just had my house rewired, and have had USB mains sockets fitted into all my rooms so can plug in my devices directly. I would quite like an Oculus Rift, but don’t know when I would play it.

Saha is joined on the MOMAs judging panel by the likes of Anthony Rose, co-founder and CTO at Zeebox, Mondelez International’s Sonia Carter, and Julian Smith, head of strategy and innovation at Fetch, to name just a few.

Read previously published Q&As with fellow MOMAs judges Russ Lidstone of Havas Worldwide London and James Hilton, M&C Saatchi Mobile.

The MOMAs, which rewards effective mobile marketing campaigns and strategies, is now open for entry with a deadline of 28 February. All information on Awards registration and entry can be found on the MOMAs website.

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