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 developed by Omnicom’s Targetbase in Irving, Texas, using a new technology called Mobile Internet Advertiser (MIA) 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 Ericsson wireless phones that are equipped to receive Internet content.
The business model promoted by Ericsson would allow Internet service providers (ISP) to cash in on advertising revenue, rather than the sites that currently host banner ads. The ISPs could have their customers fill out a profile, for example, in exchange for free Web service punctuated with occasional ads.
“The DoubleClick fiasco has been interesting to watch,” said Barbara Boyle, Ericsson’s 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.
The customer profiling aspect appealed to Targetbase, a $41 million direct response company, which has developed sample ads for new Dallas Internet service provider 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. All MIA ads are designed with a clickable “X,” which enables users to turn off the messages, which appear regardless of whether the 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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