Mobile-phone advertising guarantees not to annoy

Source: The Nation | View Online Article

Digital-media planner mInteraction, working with Advanced Info Service (AIS) and communications technology firm Affle, has developed a new system it says will enable “friendly” advertising on mobile phones.

Published on March 25, 2008

The SMS 2.0 application was launched yesterday, aimed at providing a new platform for companies wanting to advertise products in a way that the three partners believe will not disturb mobile-phone users.

After mobile-phone subscribers download the application into their handsets, they will be able to use different colours for SMS text and backgrounds. But each time they call up a blank page to write a new SMS message, they will find banners linking to news and advertising at the bottom of the screen. They can click on the banners to view the full content.

Moreover, after they send an SMS, the full news and advertising content will be shown on the screen.

“What mobile users will get are new SMS features, including coloured text and the ability to read free and mixed content ranging from news to advertising,” said mInteraction managing director Siwat Chawareewong.

He said mInteraction’s clients would gain many benefits from the service, including an interaction feature.

For example, mobile-phone users will be able to click on advertised products, to either download relevant information or subscribe to the services or products offered.

mInteraction is the digital-business arm of GroupM, one of the world’s leading brand-communications agencies.

The new SMS 2.0 application is available only to AIS subscribers. It is free of charge but compatible with only some high-tech mobiles.

Pratthana Leelapanang, assistant vice president for wireless-service marketing at AIS, said of the company’s 24 million subscribers, about 3 million would be able to access the SMS 2.0 application.

He said about 20,000 AIS subscribers had downloaded the application during trials of the new system, which started a few months ago. The three partners have targeted 300,000 SMS 2.0 users this year.

Pratthana said the new service would try to keep the proportion of news and advertising at a ratio of 90:10 to avoid annoying customers.

Sirivish Toomgum

The Nation