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Summary:

Alcatel-Lucent said today that it’s begun providing German carrier E-Plus with equipment that inserts advertisements onto mobile devices based on demographic information provided by a subsidiary of the carrier. Customers opt in to the service and in exchange get extra minutes or texts on their cell […]

AL_logo_205pxAlcatel-Lucent said today that it’s begun providing German carrier E-Plus with equipment that inserts advertisements onto mobile devices based on demographic information provided by a subsidiary of the carrier. Customers opt in to the service and in exchange get extra minutes or texts on their cell phone plans. Gettings, the E-Plus subsidiary collecting the information and delivering the ads, offers plans that send between 10-25 ads per week. When customers sign up for the program they are asked to indicate via a checklist topics that interest them so they are subsequently delivered relevant pitches.

Will this become a high-quality targeted advertising effort similar to the ads delivered by Google based on search, or will this sort of advertising instead remind users of the experience offered back in the late 90s when ISPs such as NetZero offered free dial-up in exchange for irritating pitches?  If the experience is unobtrusive and the incentives are right, I can see plenty of younger subscribers signing up, and merely accepting ad-based mobile service as the way to do things, much like we do today for search. That could change the business model around low data-rate mobile services such as texting and voice calls, to one in which carriers offer them for free or at reduced rates to folks that accept ads.

As an opt-in program, presumably people will understand what exactly they are giving up, making this less underhanded than other planned mobile advertising schemes. However, it’s still an invasive form of advertising.

  1. looks like Blyke in UK and Nederlands… quite successful at targeting yound crowds and dealing with big ad spenders like McDonalds.
    more info here for example : http://www.techdigest.tv/2007/09/analysis_blyk_h.html

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  2. Any Idea what will the form of ads (SMS/Call/internet)?

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    1. Stacey Higginbotham Monday, June 29, 2009

      SMS, MMS and mobile web ads are all possible form factors.

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  3. popurls.com // popular today…

    story has entered the popular today section on popurls.com…

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  4. [...] of £15 ($25) if they receive ads on their phones. The partnership looks similar to an effort by German carrier E-Plus to offer lower-cost mobile phone service to customers in exchange for [...]

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  5. [...] A fine giugno Alcatel-Lucent ha annunciato che comincerà a fornire al carrier tedesco E-Plus dei cellulari a un prezzo inferiore, purché [...]

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  6. [...] are playing around with an opt-in model for targeted ads that are directed at the younger set. German carrier E-plus offers text messaging and credits to mobile users who release their personal information and personal preferences to advertisers and [...]

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  7. Why havent the mobile carriers thought of this before? Almost everyone could use some incentives in the form of additional free minutes, extension of prepaid validity, additional free smss etc in exchange for viewing 1 SMS ad a day. That could build more revenue for the mobile operator by way of advertising and the customer wont complain either since thats part of the deal.

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