Ericsson Introduces Mobile Internet Advertiser for Web Services
DALLAS–While typing up a business letter on your PC, a cartoon airplane suddenly appears and flies around the screen. When you click on it, last-minute ticket deals on your preferred airline appear.
That is just one of several prototype ads by Omnicom Group’s Targetbase, using a new technology called Mobile Internet Advertiser, developed by Ericsson Cellular Network. MIA software delivers ads via the Internet. Placed on a computer’s hard drive, the spots are presented at set intervals. Ads will also play over the next generation of wireless phones that are equipped to receive Internet content.
The business model promoted by Ericsson would allow Internet-service providers to cash in on advertising revenue, rather than the sites that currently host banner ads. The ISPs could have their customers fill out profiles, for example, in exchange for free Web service punctuated with occasional ads.
“The DoubleClick fiasco has been interesting to watch,” said Barbara Boyle, Ericsson global marketing manager for network systems. “People are very concerned about their privacy. Telecom providers, on the other hand, already have a customer relationship. People are much more likely to tell things about themselves if they already have a secure relationship.
“This is the ultimate selling tool,” she added. When combined with cell phones, advertisers can target ads to locations as well as to each consumer’s profile and buying habits.
The customer-profiling aspect appealed to Targetbase, a $41 million direct-response company, which has developed sample ads for new Dallas ISP YPay.
“We’re going to integrate our technology with YPay, so we can serve those ads with extraordinary intelligence,” said Targetbase vice president of sales Bill Shuman.
“As time goes on, we will develop better and better profiles. Since [consumers] opt into this, there’s respect for the person at the other end.”
The experience has the potential to be much more entertaining and engaging than traditional Web advertising, according to the developer. Each MIA ad is designed with a clickable “X,” which enables users to turn off the messages, which appear regardless of whether each user remains connected to the Internet.
Ericsson introduced MIA, developed by its engineers in both Richardson, Texas, and Stockholm, Sweden, at the CTIA Wireless 2000 conference last month in New Orleans. K
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