New Firm Offers Ads on the Lowly To-Do List

The lowly to-do list is one of the last vestiges of personal media still untouched by marketing messages, a fact a company called Accomplice hopes to change with the launch of a virtual list management assistant supported by text ads.

Accomplice formally launched its ad-supported productivity assistant, Accomplice 1.2, at the Digital Life Conference in New York last week. Sponsored links are targeted based on the items in an end user’s current to-do list, be they professional or personal in nature.

The product is modeled after e-mail programs like Outlook, with options to view items by priority, sub-task and task details. Sponsored links are targeted to individual tasks, courtesy of a number of providers Accomplice declined to identify. CEO Jason Feinsmith argued Accomplice users will be more receptive to ads on to-do lists than they are when using e-mail or other Web-based applications. “With Accomplice, the focus is on getting something done,” he said. “Relevance means high click-through rates.”

Advertising for the product has thus far been limited. “We’re guerilla right now,” said Feinsmith, who is hoping for a potent word of mouth effect. “People use the product and invite others,” he said.

Accomplice integrates with Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora and Thunderbird, and will eventually work with Google Calendar and other programs, the company said. Integration allows users to drag e-mails and appointments into the software to group and prioritize them.

The software resides on a user’s computer and can be synched to a mobile device or a U3-enabled USB drive. The U3 technology allows users to take applications and files to a secondary computer and not leave behind any cookies, passwords or user preferences when the drive is removed.

Accomplice also offers a paid version for $29.95 per year.

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