Wpp enters mobile search by Joyce Schwarz Futurist & Speaker
WPP ENTERS MOBILE SEARCH
by Joyce Schwarz, JCOM, www.jcombusinessdevelopment.com
WPP Group, one of the world's leading communications services groups invested in JumpTap,
Inc. This investment will provide clients of WPP companies with access to mobile search and
advertising solutions. JumpTap's president and CEO, Dan Olschwang, predicts that his mobile
operator customers will do more than 250 million searches per month by the end of '07.
According to Mark Read, CEO of WPP Digital, an initiative within WPP to develop the company's
digital offering, the partnership will enable both JumpTap and WPP to develop new techniques to
target and profile customers via mobile.
A quick check on the WPP website shows top clients, including such major brands as American
Express, AT&T, Colgate-Palmolive, Ford, GlaxoSmithKline, IBM, Nestlé, Pfizer, Philip Morris,
Vodafone, HSBC, Samsung and Unilever.
New content demands new business models
It's not just the brands and agencies that recognize the need for change. At NATPE, co-chair
Stephen Davis remarked at the opening session on Jan. 16, that he projected the time is here for a
shakeout, and by year's end, he sees the new media space evolving into a much different shape.
"I see 2007 as a year of reckoning in terms of what defines new media, and more importantly what
does and doesn't work from a monetization perspective and how that will affect traditional distribution
channels for content," Davis said, calling for superior business models to drive the coming together
of technology and content.
No single ad model fits all
It may be that no single advertising model will fit all, especially in the mobile arena. That's why a
savvy content creator like Versaly Entertainment's video group, VMBC.tv, is using four advertising
models in the launch of its FastLane channel in Sprint's lifestyle section.
FastLane's target is early-adopting, big-spending, gadget-loving males ages 18-34. The channel
features up to 14 different programs providing advertisers an even more defined audience. The ad-
revenue models include 15-second interstitial commercials, program-exclusive sponsorships,
integrated advertising and digital overlays.
Versaly co-founder and CEO Matthew Feldman claims the viewer picks the time and place they
watch videos, and with mid-roll interstitial, he believes the viewer is fully engaged when a spot is
The highly coveted niche audience of 100,000 viewers per month is perfect for Toyota, one of the
advertisers that have already signed. Add a local call-to-action, and it's likely that a high percentage
of local viewers could head to a dealership for a test drive the very same day they see the promos.
A revolution in local TV search
Just around the corner is an upgraded version of pay-for-performance that you might call ITV 2.0. In
a first for the interactive television arena, at the January CES show in Las Vegas, Zodiac Interactive
announced the general availability of TVLocalSearch, an application that allows consumers to use
the TV and search for local businesses without interrupting the viewing experience.
Like its online counterpart, TVLocalSearch is free for consumers, easy to use and gives viewers
relevant information on demand. Zodiac's TVCallME service instantly connects viewers to local
businesses by telephone with a click of their remote control and offers a hassle free way to connect
to a local vendor, opening up a cornerstone to monetize search for TV.
"To paraphrase Tip O'Neill, all advertising is local," says Matt Johnston, Zodiac's SVP of strategy
and business development. "We're transforming TV from a branding medium to a transaction-ready
platform that empowers local consumer transactions for national and local advertisers."
This is not some blue-sky venture. Cable operators flocked to the demo at CES, and Zodiac
executives say it will be deployed within 90 days, which means that by summer '07, the U.S. might
have a transactional system that could even beat the red-button on remotes in Europe. [In case
you've never seen a remote over the pond, it includes a red button you can press to buy stuff and
find out more information on what you see on TV.]
IVillagelive.com offers 3-screen interactivity
Meanwhile, I'll just have to satisfy my quest for interactivity by heading over to iVillageLive.com to
join their West Coast chat with fellow viewers who seem to appreciate a two-screen show that spices
up content with mobile quizzes and polls. Sponsors I spotted include Bally Total Fitness, Estee
Lauder, Healthy Choice and Unilever.
How about at least some online coupons, iVillageLive?
Joyce A. Schwarz is an author, analyst, futurist and principal of
JCOM. www.jcombusinessdevelopment.com, email@example.com