Jingle Networks, whose 1-800-FREE411 ad-supported directory assistance service has developed a popular following this year, is running new campaigns from Aegon Insurance and Absolut Vodka.
Jingle's ads are targeted to the business category a caller requests. Aegon is launching a sweepstakes campaign as lead generation for its insurance offerings using keywords like "auto" and "insurance," while Absolut is making drink recommendations to people looking for bars and nightclubs.
Typically, each call to 1-800-FREE411 is served two ads. Before they hear the targeted ads callers are pitched by broad-based advertisers, such as McDonalds, which used the platform to advertise its Value Menu. People who want to connect with an advertiser can dial a "2," say, to do so, but won't be able to connect with their original number in that case. Advertisers also have the option to send more information via SMS to those who request it.
The service gets "600,000 customers a day," according to Lyn Chitow Oakes, SVP of marketing for Jingle Networks. "All of it's been viral marketing and word of mouth."
Oakes said approximately 500 advertisers have flocked to the service, including American Express Open, CBS, and ring tone company Modtones.
Another mobile search provider, 4INFO, has expanded beyond its SMS-based service to offer a WAP interface. Marketers including Chevrolet have advertised on the company's platform, which lets consumers conduct searches by sending text-based queries to 4INFO at 44636. The product will now also be offered at mobile.4info.net, according to Zaw Thet, CEO of 4INFO.
Chevy "bought out all our SMS inventory," said Thet, and is expected to continue its advertising relationship with the new system.
4INFO is set up to answer the most likely queries from people using a mobile phone, such as information on plane delays and store locations. "Unlike the traditional Web search engine, we're not scouring for links," Thet said. "It's designed for the most accurate information that people want when they are away from their computer."
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