7/30/2009 7:29:00 PM
Orange signs exclusive UK Blyk advertising deal to target youth market
Orange is weeks away from launching its first ad-funded tariff after a deal inked with mobile advertising specialist BlykMobile.
It comes as Blyk closes its own brand and pioneering ad-funded youth virtual network in August.
Orange will offer customers promotions and deals as well as free music content on its new Monkey tariff.
Orange had been Blyk’s wholesale partner in the UK and is now agreed as Blyk’s exclusive partner, with Vodafone partnering Blyk in Holland.
Blyk has effectively collapsed as a standalone virtual network, with the 200,000 customers to be told at the start of August that they are free to join another network.
Co-founder and former Nokia executive Pekka Ala Pietila said it was due to Blyk not being able to get traction quickly.
Orange now hopes to be in the ascendancy of mobile advertising. Wholesale chief Marc Overton said: ‘You’ll hear a lot of operators saying they can do this, but without the capability, there is nothing they can do other than repurpose online adverts.’
The adverts will be picture or text messages, where customers will be invited to rate products through pictures and videos.
Overton said the adverts wouldn’t be spam but targeted to the customer’s profile.
The two companies claimed Blyk had the capability for mobile advertising and relationships among agencies and brands that made it difficult for an operator to launch such a service alone.
They also claimed Blyk had demonstrated a response rate of 25% from users who send a message back to an advertiser.
It comes amid a major slump in the advertising market with agencies looking outside the traditional print and TV market.
O2 hired former Blyk chief Shaun Gregory in February 2009 to launch mobile advertising, while Vodafone had been pushing the format under content chief Al Russell.