12.15.2009 12:11 PM
Telefónica aims to crack mobile advertising opportunity with ‘bespoke’ ads

Launching a mobile ad campaign isn't leading edge anymore, but an opt-in ad campaign? That's what Spanish international operator Telefónica just did when it launched Amobee’s mobile advertising solution in eight of its European and Latin American mobile markets, Juniper Research's Windsor Holden reports. Usually, you accept the ads to get the content. In this case, Telefónica subscribers get ads. Period. No freebees.

Holden suggests that this might be a "bold" and worthwhile move for Telefónica because the ads will be highly personalized — including phone usage and location — and subscribers will complete a detailed questionnaire about their preferences. For example, instead of simply turning the page on Amazon.com's "you might like" suggestions, I might actually respond to suggestions that were based, say, on the fact that I read the New York Review of Books instead of the “Zack Files” series my son read 10 years ago. Holden calls this "bespoke advertising."

Added to the other advantages that mobile advertising has, it begins to look compelling. "The combined reach and interactivity of a TV-mobile call-to-action has all the hooks an advertiser wants — action, accountability and allegiance," wrote media analyst Jeffrey R. Miller in Mobile Marketer's "Classic Guide to Mobile Advertising."

Telefónica has a track record of being in front of the mobile service offerings curve, which adds weight to Holden's suggestion that this might just be the impetus for mobile advertising to take off. Telefónica has been aggressive in launching mobile TV (they started their first mobile TV trials in 2006), catch-up TV, and a personal video recorder that lets subscribers save, fast forward, rewind and pause TV programs and live events.

There's one more attractive feature of Amobee’s service: You only get one ad a day.

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