Soaking People For The Sake Of Mobile Advertising
By Mike Masnick, Fri Jul 02 23:15:00 GMT 2004

Mobile advertising should be more than just spam-on-the-go. Some firms are getting a bit more creative in how they engage your attention through your mobile phone -- though, not everyone will be pleased.

Mobile phone advertising is a powerful idea. The ability to reach someone anywhere is quite enticing... to advertisers. While many people may be signing up to receive SMS advertising, the entire market risks traveling down the same trampled road as email marketing. What starts out as a nice idea (easy, cheap, customizable communication to anyone) turns into spam.

However, intelligent mobile marketing needs to go one step further. Marketers need to realize that mobile marketing isn't about intrusively interrupting someone with a marketing message, but engaging with the interactively.

E-Media Tidbits has the story of a gardening supply firm that has set up a billboard at a train station in Germany. With one simple SMS message, the billboard will activate an automatic sprinkler system, potentially soaking anyone passing by. This and other SMS-us-to-do-something advertising is apparently starting to catch on in some places. While the people getting soaked in this example case may not appreciate the result, it certainly is engaging for those sending the SMS.

Having the end user initiate the mobile marketing experience is a much more compelling model than just spamming users. The advertiser knows the person is engaged, because they're the ones doing something. By making the entire process fun, it feels more like a game, and much less like advertising.