Thursday, November 17, 2005

Cell Phones Emerge as New Advertising Medium

Technology News reports on the cell phone becoming the next advertising frontier for reaching consumers. Julie Ask at JupiterResearch said, "Companies are using text messages to notify customers of special deals and banner ads to sponsor items, such as ring tone downloads."

With the convergent devices becoming more prevalent, David Chamberlain at In-Stat noted, "Cell phone screen size is certainly not optimal but it does provide companies with room to advertise their wares."

However, while advertisers tinker withfinding the most effective type of ads, Bob Egan at The Tower Group countered, "I don't think banner ads will be too effective because of the cell phone's small screen size."

Opt-in advertising will be important. Chamberlain said, "Customers do seem open to receiving mailings about a band's album or next concert." But as Egan added, "Many users are concerned about how many spam messages will make their way to their cell phones."

"Cellular carriers may find that users will be canceling their contracts and moving to other services if they can not control cellular spam," noted In-Stat's Chamberlain.

Ask pointed out that "We've seen a few interesting pilot programs and special promotions but no advertiser has yet allocated a lot of money to cell phone advertising. Television advertising still accounts for 85 percent of advertising dollars spent in the U.S. Even if cellular advertising is quite successful, it will take many years for it to approach the volume of revenue that television advertising generates."