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Mobile Advergaming: “Advertising To Go”

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When was the last time you saw somebody who wasn’t carrying a cell phone? I know there are folks out there who don’t have one. I just don’t know them.

Our seniors carry them for added safety measures. Moms and dads carry them to stay in touch with the kids, coordinate errands, and keep up with office activities. Workaholics carry them to, well, WORK. And teenagers carry them because their parents included them in the “family plan”, not to mention the “coolness factor” associated with having one’s own cell phone.

“Coolness factor” notwithstanding, you can do just about anything with your cell phone these days. You can check stocks, look at websites, receive weather forecasts, get daily jokes or your horoscope sent to you, send instant text messages to friends and family, and download games to play at your leisure. All on your cell phone.

Advertisers and marketing experts recognize the unlimited opportunities presented by the mobile audience. The Mobile Market Association (MMA) was formed specifically “to stimulate the growth of mobile marketing and its associated technology” and includes among its members VISA, CBS, AT&T, and the Associated Press. The mobile market covers a HUGE potential customer base–people of all ages, sex, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and socio-economic status have cell phone service. Advergaming, the newest concept in marketing, allows companies to promote their products and services in a fun and entertaining way through games potential customers play online, at home, and now, on their cell phones–without mobile customers paying for the receipt of the download.

Advergaming promotes products and services throughout a game’s progress. Typically, downloading a game to a cell phone runs $2 to $8. But if a company agrees to pay for most or all of the game endorsement messages and download cost, the audience potential for promotion of that company’s product/service becomes gigantic. That means the customer base created for those same products or services can grow exponentially. That’s BIG money for a relatively small investment.

The MMA predicted growth of the mobile industry to reach $5 BILLION by the end of 2005, with teens and young adults (a prime target audience for most companies) making up the majority of that growth. NBC’s Deal or No Deal allowed watchers up to ten chances to choose (via a 99-cent text message) a case number for the chance to win $10,000. I voted every week. Once by cell phone, and the other nine times over the internet. The exposure for Deal or No Deal was unbelievable, and garnered them colossal ratings over the show’s first-season run. No, I didn’t win the 10K, but you can bet I’ll keep trying. And that’s EXACTLY what marketers and advertisers want.

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Mobile Advergaming: “Advertising To Go”
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