Wednesday night, watching news and updates on the primaries in the Kadima party, I noticed a spot from Cellcom promoting a new initiative. The ad presented a hot bikini model walking by the pool and then a freaky voice (why do ad agencies think that you must talk to teenagers with voice of heavily drugged person) orders the naive viewers to not watch this ad unless they are paid for.
A short googling showed that this is the beginning of a huge campaign (ILS 7 million) to promote a new service of mobile advertising. Cellcom offers its subs to watch ads, answer some questions and be paid by air-time minutes.
Customers will be awarded 1 air-time minute for each minute ads watched. In this manner one can earn up to 45 minutes each months. According to Cellcom, the service is aimed mostly at 21-30 auditory, but there are good chances that teenagers will be attracted too.
At first I thought that that the ads will be shown on the mobile device with some new sophisticated technology. Surprisingly, this is not the situation – ads will be offered for watching on a dedicated website. I was surprised even more, when I heard that that Cellcom plans to reach a volume of ILS 15 million during the first year. In my very humble opinion it doesn’t make sense to invest 7 million in a campaign only to get a turnover of 15 million.
So, as it seems to me, Cellcom has more grandiose plans. I think that the current initiative is only a pilot for something bigger. It can be for example the first step to the real mobile advertising – ads on mobile devices. If Cellcom succeed in educating the young auditory to watch ads for money in the web, they won’t resist watching ads on their mobiles in the future.
As there is no doubt that the mobile advertising will became on of the most important MNO’s growth factors in the near future, a massive investment in this filed may prove itself highly profitable. See for example the new report of Frost&Sullivan on U.S. Mobile Advertising and Search Markets
Now a little bit about the campaign. The whole country is covered by the simple yet original message – don’t watch this ad unless you are paid for. The campaign uses outdoor and especially electronic media (TV, banners). All the ads featuring graffity style text and motifs which are close to the young auditory.
Oh, I’ve almost forgotten. The campaign is called “zmanismoney” which is english-hebrew mix of “time is money”. The creativity is beyond my imagination.