Mobile Advertising Analysis: Using Ordinary Approaches To Achieve Extraordinary Results

Topic: Mobile Marketing | Author: Peggy Anne Salz | Date: September 21, 2009

In brief: A review of buzz at the recent Mobile Marketing Forum (MMF) event in Berlin and a closer look at clever campaigns (Coke, P&G, BMW, Lufthansa) suggest pent-up demand for advertising approaches (services) that make our lives more livable.

Mobile advertising must deliver value.

It's the key takeaway that has run through each of the 20+ industry events I have attended/chaired over the past year like a leitmotiv. However, the value of mobile advertising is changing.

At first, many brands/agencies were convinced that their value proposition was inextricably linked to their level of cool. In line with this mindset, they focused on fun campaigns around free content such as branded games, ringtones and images, as well as some viral elements people could pass around to their friends.

The strategy has paid dividends for brands such as Coca-Cola.

A textbook example is the Fanta Stealth Sound System, which harnessed high-pitched frequencies that are audible only to youth thus providing young people a new way to communicate with each other without adults listening in. Another campaign that generated buzz (and impressive results) was Fanta Virtual Tennis. The world's first 3D augmented reality tennis game let players use their mobile devices as tennis racquets to hit a virtual ball.


At Mobile Marketing Forum (MMF) Europe, Hinde Pagani, Coca-Cola Senior Mobile Marketing Manager, Global Interactive Marketing, treated attendees to a string of case studies that included these gems. But the real excitement was about simple SMS campaigns that employed a mechanism known as UTC, or under the cap (unique codes inserted under each soft drink bottle cap) to engage people and increase brand trust.

Coke still offers its demographic fun, free content. (It boasts three iPhone apps, including a runaway success that has been downloaded 500,000 times in two months – without promotion!) But it's campaigns that combine free content with free airtime that are the real crowd-pleasers. In fact, this winning combination has allowed Coke in India to count a whopping 5 million responses in just four months. Coke in Germany has also run a similar campaign, offering customers three minutes or three SMS free of charge.

Read between the lines, and value has new meaning. It's still about delivering cool content, but it's also about delivering a service that teens (and their parents) appreciate. As Hinde put it: "(With these campaigns) we gain teens' trust and please their moms."

Ad-funded MVNO Blyk: Alive & Kicking – AND Coming Exclusively To MSG

Topic: Mobile Marketing | Author: Peggy Anne Salz | Date: May 13, 2009

blyk_carousel_mediaIf you think you read wrong when you understood from today's report in NewMediaAge (NMA) that Blyk had indeed pulled the plug on it's U.K. operations, you are absolutely right. My first reaction was disbelief (you can't believe everything you read, of course), and I immediately called Blyk to get the story from the source. The story is: There is no story.

Jonathan MacDonald - a brave voice in the mobile advertising space, who, during his time at Blyk, was instrumental in developing the company's strategy - has summarized the facts in this post. (And I see that NMA, just minutes ago, had retracted the headline that started it all.)

Judging from the level of excitement today the timing couldn't be better for a serious analysis of Blyk's partnership strategy (and an update on negotiations with mobile operators). Another important development that needs some clarification: The announcement during Mobile World Congress that Velti and Blyk have sealed a deal to launch a content portal.

The intriguing part of the release (that no doubt got lost in the trade show shuffle): "The new portal acts as a conduit for Blyk members interested in content from relevant brands or lifestyle choices; which moves away from the traditional mobile portal business model." (Hmmm - An interesting approach that potentially addresses the frequent complaints I hear from cool content providers and app developers frustrated by the red tape and - in some cases re-education - necessary to sell mobile operators on their offers.)

Blyk has a mobile savvy audience of 16-24 year olds (early-adopters), and has built its business on a deep understanding of social media marketing (the models and means to play matchmaker between customers and content/apps). Against this backdrop, the Blyk's strategy opens up some interesting opportunities and raises some even more interesting questions: To what extent is it possible to encourage discovery based on insights into customer demographics (gathered through opt-in and other means)? In what way can personalization determine the content (and advertising, as Blyk does treat advertising as another form of content) Blyk users will accept and appreciate? Does this model displace carriers, or potentially help them in the inevitable transition from mobile operator to media company?

These are just a few of the questions I will discuss this week with Antti Öhrling, Blyk co-founder and U.K. CEO. We are

Mobile Search Goes Touch: Taptu Brings New “Cool Factor” To iPhone Paid Search Ads & Viral Marketing

Topic: Research, Search | Author: Peggy Anne Salz | Date: April 16, 2009

In-Brief: Consider this (the last in this week's trilogy of iPhone posts) a place-setter for the news we're likely to see later this month from Taptu, a provider of socially-assisted search I have had high on my radar since it broke on the scene just over three years ago. Look for a new service focused squarely on enabling mobile search across touch devices, and a short private beta before it launches in the Apple App Store next month.

Taptu's approach, which takes universal search to the next level, crawling and indexing the social networking sites and destinations such as MySpace, YouTube, and Wikipedia, to expose an eclectic mix of results and content we might not have found otherwise, has been at the core of Taptu's differentiation. But it's the company's latest release white paper (Touch Search: A New Vision For Mobile Search, which you can download by clicking the button in the sidebar) that signals an exciting shift in the mobile search paradigm.

The advance of touch devices changes how we browse the mobile Web and, naturally, it impacts what we expect from mobile search. What's more, the touch Web represents the fast-growing subset of the Web, consisting of websites and Web pages that are optimized for access by touch devices like the iPhone.

andreas-bernstromHowever, as I point out in this earlier post, Taptu does more than acknowledge this trend; it has responded with a roadmap to encourage the innovation that content providers and brands agencies will require to deliver an optimized search and advertising experience for touch devices. I met up with Andreas Bernstrom, Taptu COO, a few weeks back to see Taptu's prototype search service in action. Now I have the green light to post (I respect Andreas' request not to give too much away here), so here's a brief summary of my private demo and the details I can share.

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