Archive for the ‘Advertising’ Category

Nokia plans to pre-empt Google; Launches mobile advertising solution

March 6, 2007

Nokia launched a major push into the mobile advertising domain with its Nokia Ad Service. Much like the Google Adsense+Adwords combination Nokia service will target both advertisers and media publishers. Interesting part about the announcement is that it comes right around the time when more reports about GooglePhone are emerging. The Ad Service will have 2 parts- Nokia Ad Service and Nokia Advertising Gateway.

Nokia Ad Service will consist of mobile Internet publishers forming a mobile ad network where mobile ads can be delivered through the Nokia service. Nokia Ad Service will launched in Europe at ad:tech(March 6th-7th, 2007) and globally in the second half of 2007. Nokia Advertising Gateway will work as  private label service to deliver targeted ads depending on the user context. Information will be gleaned from the media content being browsed like news, video, or music. Nokia plans to work with media companies, content aggregators and such to enable them to extend their reach to mobile audience. Nokia Advertising Gateway is currently going through the pilot phase and will become commercially available in the Q3/Q4 of 2007.

Nokia is also planning to support CPA (cost per action) based Ads. Right now the role of CPA seems to be more on the buzzword side of things than anything. Even though number of companies are trying on web, we have yet to see any successful CPA solution to emerge where millions of transactions taking place everyday with good amount of user activity tracking information being collected. Comparing to that, deploying a CPA solution on mobile seems far from plausible.

Deployment of the Nokia Ad Service from the publisher standpoint will be similar to Google Adsense service. Publishers will be inserting ads tags in their content. Nokia will than deliver contextual ads in form of banners, text links and interstitials and also provide analytics around the service.

Nokia will have lot of work at hand to get the ball rolling on this particularly getting quality advertisers to feed its publishing end. On the whole, being able to attract a good chunk of advertising budgets of companies for the newer ad formats would be challenge for everyone, besides Nokia.

Currently Admob is leading the mobile ad delivery platform with over 1.4 billion ad impressions served. Google, Yahoo, Verizon, Sprint, At&t, JumpTap, MillennialMedia, Actionality, ThirdScreenMedia are just some of the companies operating in this space.

Nokia Ad Service


Izimi p2web; Obopay with Citibank; adManager bait

February 28, 2007

Izimi: is another peer-to-web application in making. Right now in private beta and launching early next month, Izimi will enable users to serve files, photos, videos right from their PC. The UK based startup is supposed to have raised a small amount of funding totaling £150k from Star Capital just under $3million. Earlier I had written about Boxcloud and PurpleNova operating in the same space.

Citibank+Obopay: The mobile payment startup has finally hit gold. Obopay is running a pilot program with Citibank to enable its credit and debit card customers to instantly send and receive money via any mobile phone. Besides this customers will be able to remotely track and manage their mobile payment accounts by checking balances, viewing payment histories, and adding funds directly from their mobile phone. Last time I had written about Obopay, the startup had raised $10 million in funding. Since than Obopay has acquired BillMonk and undergone major management additions.

Microsoft adManager: The software giant is throwing out a bait for existing and new Microsoft Office Live subscribers to get them hitched onto the Microsoft adManager. As part of a new offer all those users who activate Microsoft Office Live adManager beta between February 20, 2007 and July 31, 2007 will get a $50 Microsoft adCenter credit. As I have said before, I am completely lost in this Microsoft+Office+Live mumbo jumbo. I mean what has a word like “Office” got to do with a word like “adManager”? Does anyone ever listen over there? Anyway these offers fall far short of what Google has been doing to promote Adwords and Checkout.

Thinkpassenger gets $2.5 million; More branded communities

February 26, 2007

ThinkPassenger is the latest startup to  the growing list of companies looking to provide platform establishing insightful customer and brand relationship. ThinkPassenger based out of Lost Angeles was founded in 2005 by Andrew Leary . The startup has till date raised $2.5 million in funding from Shelter Capital Partners.

ThinkPassenger offers an on-demand software platform to create private branded communities that incorporate customers as an integral part of the business process, while empowering customers through ownership of ideas. Thinkpassenger has already signed up some of the top brands to takes its product forward. This includes as Coca-Cola, ABC Television and Sara Lee. ThinkPassenger passenger product will have the typical feature set including realtime hosted sessions, polls, discussion boards, messaging, and analytics. The value addition occurring with this kind of setup is ’cause of the fact that most of the communication can be initiated by the brand manager that leads to direct interaction with the most valued customers.

Other companies operating in the branded communities domain that I have written about includes Eluma, Newsgator, Skinkers, ViTrue , and also heard of LiveJournal and Yahoo planning significant moves.


Targeted Video-ads delivery startup Spotzer gets funded

February 23, 2007

Spotzer, the European video ads startup about which I had written in last December, has raised second round of funding from DutchView, Holland’s largest post production company. No word on the exact financial terms of the funding. Just as SpotRunner does in US, Spotzer platform enables purchasing of advertising-time on television, websites and mobile devices to reach a highly targeted market in European countries.



Newsgator looks toward branded communities

February 22, 2007

Newsgator is finally planning to enter the market of branded communities and conversational advertising. I had for long expected Newsgator moving into this area given its core strength in syndication and delivery of content. Newsgator’s new plan feels vaguely similar to RSS based brandable communities from Eluma. With the new product, brand managers will be able to create and host  “branded Hosted Conversation” around select themes and topics. Content for each of  these conversations will be extracted by the host from news media, blogs and other content sources. Users will have the ability to participate in the conversation through commenting on existing articles or publishing their own articles. Newsgator will try to keep the RSS term usage in the background to make onboarding easier for ordinary users. As you might expect, widget based deliver of ads will provide the perfect icing.

Each implementation and rollout of a brandable community will take around 2 weeks with clients working together with Newsgator and Edelman teams. From the end-product look and feel perspective, it might have similarities with Skinkers event alert tool, with additional interaction options built-in.

However I think Newsgator is entering a new world of brand marketing which requires different kind of management experience to push the product forward. Product strategy aside, selling the product to consumer facing companies, and there by getting it picked up by the end users will hold key to the success of the new venture.

On the whole, list of companies and startups, besides Newsgator, looking at building brandable communities or already doing so now include Eluma, Skinkers, ViTrue, LiveJournal, and Yahoo.

Newsgator Hosted Conversations

Google to get AdScape for $23 million

February 16, 2007

Google Ad machine is going to get more targets to hit at as it plans to buy in-game advertising company AdScape for $23 million, according to RedHerring. Negotiations for this deal had been under works for past month. With no game publishers signed up for pushing the ads to, AdScape seems to have been bought for the technology it has developed in the last 5 years. Future plays for Google? — off course ads in Mobile Games. What else? Oh yeah paper thin LCD pages with embedded Google Ad chips on your Book covers(even alternate pages), product packages, clothes, walls…. Practically anywhere where ads can be delivered remotely and automatically 🙂

Hillary’s Ad ball rolling in blogosphere!

January 24, 2007

Hard work done by blogging community is showing great results. Latest news – Hillary Clinton is going in for advertising on some of the top political blogs. Checkout her ads running through BlogAds on Taegan Goddard’s PoliticalWire. Just for comparison, no such ads are running on NYTimes! Cheaper and targeted advertising avenues seem to winning the new media ad-share war.

Taegan Goddard’s PoliticalWire

Yahoo Panama gets final push on Feb 5

January 24, 2007

When Google has sucked out most of the advertising dollars with it’s contextual ad engine, keyword pricing is going up, and publisher revenues are going down, Yahoo is planning go to enter the market. The much awaited and 2 years in making Project Panama is coming live on February 5 when Yahoo will introduce its new search marketing ranking model in the U.S. Yahoo is claiming that it’s new system will take into consideration both the bid and the ad’s quality to determine where an ad appears in the search results. Good for Yahoo. But what about the Advertisers and Publishers? Availability, scalability, real-time ad delivery aside, can Yahoo beat or atleast deliver the same ROI/Revenues as Google?

Oh! We just forgot about the users. Don’t you think most of the users by now have grown tired and just plain ignoring these text-based contextual ads appearing everywhere. ComScore can you please ring-up some data on this?

We would definitely know where Yahoo and in general contextual ad market is headed by next Quarter results from Yahoo and Google. Anyway, did you miss the $2 jump in YHOO today?

Amobee to deliver in-game ads on mobile

January 16, 2007

Okay I knew Amobee Media will deliver more than just dishing our banner ads on mobiles(read: higher quality content being available for less), but bundled it with the wrong players the other day. Anyway, now we have more details about the mobile startup’s advertising plans. Amobee media is teaming up with Orange in France for its first mobile advertising trial that will deliver mobile content and entertainment services for free in return for displaying advertisements on user mobile phones.

Orange will be offering its customers mobile games from FILAO at a reduced price or free, which will carry advertisements delivered by Amobee Media platform. The ads will be served during the idle time between game levels or while the game is loading. Big name brands including Coke, Saab, Travelski, Société Générale and Mobifun, are already taking part in this exercise. During the trial which will go on for 2 months, users will be be click-n-call the brands or continue playing the games. As for ad delivery, FILAO will integrate Amobee’s HAPI (Handset Application Programming Interface) into its games that enables the games to receive ads.

Amobee seems to be taking one-up lead wrt to Google in the race to enable free content delivery. Will be interesting to see how it plays out for Amobee.

Amobee Media

Tags: StartupSquad, Mobile+ads, Advertising, Funding, Sequoia, AccelPartners

Mobile advertising startup – Amobee – closes round 2

January 4, 2007

Israel based mobile advertising startup Amobee Media is rumored to have raised another $15-$20 million in its second round of funding, according to Israeli newspaper Globes. Globespan Capital Partners in addition to existing investors Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners participated in the new funding. Amobee claims to offer contextual advertising with full user consent and “opt-in” basis, which should result in higher quality content being available for less.

Here we have the mad scramble happening in the mobile-advertising space when most of the consumers don’t have access to low priced data plans, true 3G speeds, and WiFi enabled phones, in the first place. Overall mobile advertising is getting just too much attention compared to the number of subscribers, current usage, and content available be viewed/consumed by the users. Besides the well funded startups including AdMobJumpTap, MillennialMedia, Actionality, ThirdScreenMedia, we also mobile operators including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and traditional media advertising companies including Google and Yahoo gearing up to serve fresh ads to a minuscule number of consumers.

Amobee Media