Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Mobile Ads

Some interesting developments in the mobile phone marketing platform today. From tech crunch, "Blyk, the mobile virtual network operator offering free phone call minutes and messaging in return for sending customers advertising, launches in the UK today” read more here.

Basically how this works is that you register on the website (you have to be between the ages of 16 to 24) and get a SIM from Blyk. Users get free SMS and Calls (capped) in exchange for up to six ads being delivered to the users mobile phone each day. This ain’t no Mickey Mouse project with some big advertisers already signed up, including Buena Vista, Coca-Cola, I-play Mobile Gaming, L’Oreal Paris, StepStone and Yell.

This is a pretty interesting concept. It is just a matter of time until advertising and marketing on mobile phones takes off in a big way. Also from tech crunch is the news of ThePudding, which,provides free, PC-based phone calls to anywhere in the US or Canada. The big catch: computers in Fremont, CA will eavesdrop on and analyse every word of your conversation so they can serve up advertisements tailored to the topic at hand.” – Tech Crunch

My issue with these forms of ad supported revenue models is how they require users to opt in. Whereas when you use the Internet, where most sites are essentially ad supported, you do not have to opt in explicitly to view ads, viewing is a consequence of surfing the net. The same is true with television, radio and print. Asking users to actively view, or listen, to ads is a different kettle of fish.

I would suspect that as mobile phones, like the iphone and the yet confirmed mythical Google phone, become integrated media devices, ad content will primarily be delivered through Internet use and other online content. Will be interesting to see future developments.

Aside: I just realised I have never received a marketing message, or ad, on my mobile phone (apart from telemarketers). Could this be right?

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