Orange calls Shots with mobile advertising plan

UK operator Orange revealed what it’s been up to with failed-MVNO-turned-managed-services-provider Blyk on Tuesday, marking the launch of Blyk’s first offering in its new guise.

Blyk closed the doors on its MVNO operation at the end of August 2009, having notched up some 200,000 end users. The firm re-launched itself as an advertising services provider and since September Orange has been testing the platform with its own content and brands including 4Music, Ubisoft, COI and Snickers.

Launching full commercial service on February 1, Orange Shots will initially be available to brands who want to interact with an audience of 100,000 customers from part of Orange’s Pay As You Go Monkey customer base, which offers free music and texts to customers when they top up.

The Orange Shots service works across SMS and MMS, and like Blyk’s original model, encourages customers to message back and give views and opinions. After testing, Orange is claiming response rates of between 21-39 per cent and said it will slowly roll out the Shots platform to the rest of its subscriber base. Unanimis UK is the partner advertising agency.

Orange assures its customers that they have the opportunity to opt out at any stage, and customer data will not be shared externally to third parties.

Blyk’s original model relied on revenues from advertising customers being used to subsidise voice and text usage for 16 – 24 year-old end users (or ‘members’ as Blyk prefers to describe them). But, although initial uptake was quicker than the firm had forecast, the service was not a commercial success.

While the firm’s advertising response rates remained high, at 25 per cent, it lacks the kind of reach that advertisers are used to buying through more established media. And the volume of free usage made available to end users through advertising subsidies was simply insufficient.

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  1. Avatar Irene Nyberg 26/01/2010 @ 3:36 pm

    Since its founding in 2006, Blyk has always been a media company. MVNO was a temporary channel to test that Blyk media works. UK was our chosen First launch market because of its expertise in advertising and complexity in mobile communications. It was proven – Blyk Works. Orange UK “Shots” is one part of this proof: Orange ramps-up Blyk-based ad service. In the NL and India, where Blyk will soon launch, the service will be different. Blyk,directly consumer facing.

    Blyk is a messaging media that works with mobile operators to link young people with brands and other stuff they like.

  2. Avatar Gadgets Review 28/01/2010 @ 8:29 am

    It will surely helps consumer to know abut latest products of orange. UK already shots and said that it will be on favor of market so that everybody knows about product. Advertising seems to be working for market. After Google nexus contribution its tough for consumer to know about product so advertising surely helps them to engaged with latest products online. Orange has expertise over many brands indeed.

    Brian Williams.
    Information Technologist

  3. Avatar Julie Strawson 28/01/2010 @ 11:43 am

    Orange’s decision to specifically target consumers based on their personal interests (“Orange calls Shots with mobile advertising plan”, 26 January), is certainly an innovative step in the evolution of mobile marketing, but could throw up additional, initial challenges to overcome.

    Taking mobile marketing to such a granular level relies on consumer trust more than ever, and in a “spam-conscious” age, brands need to ensure they are not turning away potential leads through their very appearance. A fundamental part to achieving this is displaying all brands and logos legibly on the small screen. This is often down to the brand’s typeface.

    The humble font is often forgotten as a powerful communication tool. Consumers are used to seeing written communication displayed a certain way and implementing typefaces across new media must be considered from an aesthetic and technical standpoint.

    Implementing typefaces across new media is a process that needs to be at the forefront of a new mobile marketing strategy. Consistent text delivery will help customers trust the messages they receive. Our recent survey with Opinion Matters of 2000 UK consumers, showed that if the branding within an organisation’s mobile promotion was displayed in the wrong font, more than 86% of the surveyed audience would not trust it and therefore it would fall at the first hurdle.

    Julie Strawson, Director of Marketing, Europe.
    Monotype Imaging

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