Global positioning and location-aware capabilities of the iPhone are identified by many users to be among one of the top features for the iPhone, and targeted by many developers creating apps for the handset. Quattro Wireless, a mobile advertising network that works with online sites to provide a mobile presence, partnered with uLocate to implement location-based ads for a local search application called Where.
Quattro and uLocate today announced they will work together to bring contextual value to the local search application. Quattro extends its iPhone ad network, called In-APP Network, with iPhone-specific ad units including location-based overlays, ad sponsorships for location-based keyword search, widgets, map options, and banners. ULocate will be providing the local search engine.
“Hearing from advertisers, we see the marrying of the rich, interactive experience…with location advertising as the Holy Grail,” said Eswar Priyadarshan, chief technology officer at Quattro Wireless. “It’s infusing the Where application in all kinds of ways with advertising capabilities.”
Users will be able to conduct search-to-map keyword advertising. One example offered by Priyadarshan is in the case where a user conducts a search for “headache” or “Advil” and a pharmacy such as Walgreens advertises to gain greater visibility with highlighted store locations. Sponsored stores will have more prominent listings than organic results for drug stores in the area.
Another example, the widget sponsorship, allows for a brand or a brand’s product to be highlighted on the widget map homepage. Stores can highlight their locations on the map when users conduct searches, even when not directly related. Quattro believes this may appeal to big box and national retailers such as Wal-Mart or Staples, though restaurant chains can also take advantage of the opportunity.
Banners within the search pages provide contextual relevance, and learn from the user behavior. “Because you are on the phone, we know where you are, what’s driving you, you’ve experessed interest in figuring out food options and where you are tonight,” said Priyadarshan regarding a search within the widget designed for Yelp, a site for consumer-generated reviews of local businesses.
Integration with Where gives Quattro’s In-APP Network more reach. Its advertisers, including Toyota, Herbal Essences, Sony, Comcast, and LionsGate, have been asking for more iPhone, and more location-aware applications.
Where is a location-based search application to help users find area businesses and information. It’s been available in the iPhone App Store, and has become one of the top 10 navigation apps. New users will download the ad-supported version while existing users will be prompted to update their current version to the ad-enabled Where.
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