Cell phone advertisers cash registers to ring on 3G launch

Written by Nikita Upadhyay | Nikita Upadhyay | Shaheen Mansuri | Mumbai | Updated: Jul 27 2010, 04:51am hrs
With 3G services likely to be introduced by the year end, advertisers are keen to capitalise on the new platform mobile phones to reach out to consumers efficiently.

Advertisers are willing to exploit the medium, but lack of appropriate technology had pegged them back. 3G could be the technology that allows advertisers to showcase their wares in a cost-effective manner.

So far, companies have not been too excited about mobile advertising as the complete brand experience cannot be delivered through SMSs and plain-vanilla WAP banner ads. However, 3G will allow much better delivery of more creative advertising content.

The Rs 20,000-crore advertising industry is poised for exponential growth as corporates have increased ad spends nearly 13% for the calender year 2010, say analysts.

Compared with other advertising media like the internet and out-of-home, mobile advertising is in nascent stages, but has the potential to garner 10% share of the advertising pie with the advent of 3G. Once 3G services are activated, users with 3G handsets will be able to download streaming video content on to their mobile devices and enjoy music videos, full-length movies and even live cricket matches.

Brands will get an additional platform to reach out to users with increased interactivity and acceptance. Mobile advertisements will get greater mileage as the smart phone device is just 6 inches away, compared with 12-14 inches for computers and 120 inches for television, says Debadutta Upadhyaya, VP, India, Vdopia.

With 3G, rich media advertising like video ads, will become a viable proposition and gain popularity among a critical mass of mobile users. Most ad delivery opportunities that the mobile provides, whether it is internet advertising or SMS advertising, would be enhanced by 3G networks.

With high data usage and availability of innovative services like live video based and MMS based advertising, rich content embedded ads would be practical, said Rohit Dadwal,MD, mobile marketing association.

Mahesh Narayanan, country manager, AdMob, has observed an incremental rise in the time spent browsing web the over mobile phones and that presents a great opportunity for advertisers to engage with their customers.

3G will not only further increase mobile internet penetration and usage in the country, it will also allow advertisers to distribute richer content thereby enhancing user experience, he added.

A recent Ficci-KPMG report stated that 80% of Indians are open to receiving ads on their mobile phones in exchange for music downloads while 53% would view ads in exchange for free games.

Moreover, with increased competition in the mobile services market, free minutes in return for advertisement on the mobile phone could be a market differentiator.

3G phones are very top-of-the-line. Unless 3G phones come out with a format to reach out to millions of customers, I dont think it will make a vast difference to brand marketing, except for SMSs and irritating calls that were all familiar with, says Divya Radhakrishnan, president, TME.