AT&T AdWorks, through mobile ad firm Celtra’s partnership with Foursquare, will let consumers check in to the location-based service via mobile ads served by the carrier’s ad network. AT&T AdWorks will begin testing the unit with an unspecified retailer in the next few weeks, with plans to eventually roll the unit out to other advertisers.
Mobile ads featuring Foursquare appear as regular mobile banners but call on consumers to check in. Once a consumer clicks the ad, he or she will be shown a map with nearby locations of the corresponding advertisers’ outlets, provided the consumer has opted in to be targeted by location. If the consumer hasn’t opted in, he or she will be asked to input a zip code. The consumer can click on a location—such as a restaurant or retail store—to see Foursquare-hosted information tied to that location like tips or offers and to check in. Clicking the “check in” button transports the consumer to Foursquare’s domain so that the consumer can sign in to his or her account before checking in. Consumers can click-to-call ads featuring a location's phone number.
The Foursquare integration is an extension of AT&T AdWorks’ store locator mobile unit. Levi’s tested the unit last year for its Curve ID jeans and saw 10.3 percent of impressions click through to use the store finder.
Maria Mandel Dunsche, vp of marketing and media innovation at AT&T AdWorks, said the ad network chose to add the Foursquare capabilities because of an “intersection of advertisers’ interests in social, local and mobile.”
For its part, AT&T AdWorks’ interests encompass mobile as well as online and TV. In addition to 10 billion monthly mobile impressions, the network serves up 450 billion monthly online impressions and 4 billion monthly TV impressions through the AT&T U-verse service.
Mandel Dunsche and David Polinchock, director of the AT&T AdWorks Lab in New York, offered Adweek a peek at some of the network’s plans for its TV offering. First the low-hanging fruit: They’ll be adding direct-response TV features later this year that will have consumers clicking a button on their remotes to do things like subscribing to a mailing list or requesting a coupon be mailed to their address. Since AT&T AdWorks has access to opted-in U-verse subscribers’ information like name and mailing address, it will be able to autopopulate those forms. Another overlay U-verse subscribers can expect to see later this year will let the consumer pause and record the show he or she is watching, click through to a branded experience and then resume the program.
AT&T AdWorks has also developed couch commerce capabilities that would let AT&T U-verse subscribers purchase products via an overlay shown alongside a commercial or a TV’s program listings guide. One advertiser has signed on to test the units during the second and third quarters, but Mandel Dunsche declined to name the brand.
But not all of AT&T AdWorks's TV plans involve overlays. The network is testing with an unnamed advertiser the ability to target TV ads by audience much in the way brands can target audiences online. For example, a brand could say it wants to target Glee viewers, and AT&T AdWorks would sift an audience profile for that show based on U-verse data, show the advertiser a cluster of other shows the target audience also watches—including Modern Family, The Killing and American Horror Story, per the demo—and run ads against those shows as well as Glee.