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« Video of My Keynote at Google Think Mobile event in Kuala Lumpur about Mobile Advertising | Main | Elop, Nokia, Tablets, Location Based Services and Product Line »

March 02, 2012



Hello Tomi,

That reminds me of a concept French Bouygues Telecom used to offer on prepaid cards, the "Nomad Spot". This concept is quite simple : calls were paid by advertising.

In fact every call had to begin with an add, and then the call was for free. Even if French people Hate ads (with a capital H), this system was popular but stopped recently as prices on mobile communications became quite cheap.

Maybe it existed elsewhere, I don't know actually.

Mobile ads seem a bit scary as we're already over-flooded by counterproductive ads on radio and on TV, but if it's well done, why not.

However there still will be a problem in some countries, like Canada for instance, where mobile comms, especially Data are VERY expensive.

So until there won't be true competition in mobile comms in Canada - which can't exist while government blocks all possibilities, and apparently doesn't want to change - mobile adds won't have a future here.

Rizki Suluh Adi

Ahem for Indonesia McDonalds Mobile Ad Campaign ;)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi vladkr and Rizki

vladkr - haha, yes I remember. Its one of the many variants and copycats of the gratisphone service and yes, you had to listen to and ad before getting your sponsored 'free' call. Its a BAD idea (even where it worked to some degree). It is exactly what I do not want in mobile, because it is yet another interruptive ad model.

In mobile we do not need to do interruptive ads, we can do ads disconnected from the content/service experience (impossible on any other media). So the successful way to do what you described is Blyk's model. You still consume ads to get free minutes (and free SMS) but you consume the ads whenever you want. Blyk is a huge success from the UK to India and achieves 30% response rates now over 4 years and millions of superbly satisfied consumers.

Rizki - cheers!

Tomi Ahonen :-)

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The advertising industry is embracing mobile now. Last year Ford became the first global brand to state categorically, that mobile was so critical, that from now on, every Ford car campaign will include mobile in it. Coca Cola offers us a good rule about how to spend your mobile budget, with their 70:20:10 rule, ie 70% spent on mobile messaging (SMS and MMS), 20% spent on the mobile web, and only 10% spent on all smartphone apps across all smartphone platforms. Or the simple guide from US food giant, Kraft, whose mobile philosophy is 'Leave no phone behind'. To illustrate how important mobile is for one of the biggest advertising companies on the planet, Google's Chairman, Eric Schmidt says: 'Put your best people on mobile.'


Heya Tomi.. Great Stuff as always.. 8-)

You noted McDonalds here in Japan, thought this was pretty cool:


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Wi-Fi is a growing barrier to the success of mobile ads, and will become a bigger point of discussion as the amount of Wi-Fi traffic picks up, it’s expected to be 51 percent of all Web traffic by 2016. Companies like adidas stick to Sms and MMS advertising.

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I rarely comment, but after looking at a few of the responses on Communities Dominate Brands: Some Cases of Mobile Advertising Excellence from Around the World. I do have 2 questions for you if it's allright. Is it simply me or do some of the comments look like they are written by brain dead visitors? :-P And, if you are posting on additional online sites, I would like to follow you. Could you post a list of every one of your social networking sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

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The comments to this entry are closed.

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    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Helsinki but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

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