Monday, August 22, 2005

Commercials By Cellphone

From WSJ ONline Commercials by cell phone

Leave it to creative Richard Branson and Virgin to adopt an emerging technology for mobile marketing first

Passengers waiting to board a Virgin Atlantic Airways flight at London Heathrow airport may get an unexpected invitation on their cellphone these days

Under a new advertising program, transmitters are beaming out text messages to the phones of people walking by to ask them if they would like to watch a video-clip ad on their phone's screen

Two London companies are behind the new ad approach -- Maiden Group PLC, which has handled billboard advertising for 80 years in the United Kingdom, and Filter UK Ltd., a small firm specializing in the transmitter technology

One limit to the spread of the cellphone video advertising will be the number of phones capable of receiving the ads. The ads work only on high-tech phones enabled with Bluetooth, the short-range wireless technology that allows text, sound and pictures to be sent to a computer, phone or other electronic device

Cellphones offer an attractive opportunity for advertisers because of their popularity, especially with young people, who are proving harder to reach as they spend less time watching TV or reading newspapers and magazines.

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