Big Brands Embrace Wireless

It’s no secret that the United States lags behind Europe and Asia when it comes to wireless platforms — especially when they're used as an advertising medium. Large brands are now incorporating wireless advertising into their media plans in conjunction with traditional advertising buys.

One wireless company in particular, Avesair, has experienced a growth spurt in the number of wireless campaigns launched throughout its network. Here's a look at some recent campaigns.

Avesair, which acquired fellow wireless provider WindWire back in February, organized a weeklong campaign for Champs Sports in November. The campaign promoted the opening of a Champs Sports store in Times Square. Rubin Hanan, VP of marketing at Champs Sports, says the campaign was cost-effective and complemented the additional forms of advertising (radio and newspaper) that Champs did for the launch. The campaign was geo-targeted to the New York area, and ads were served strictly to cell phones. PDA devices were scratched from the campaign because the target audience of 12-to-24-year-olds is less likely to own them. Hanan says the campaign was not an aggressive one, with the goal being to drive store traffic. No incentives were offered in the ads served, and the final CTR from the campaign was 3.7%, a percentage that Jane Foreman, VP of marketing at Avesair, says rivals that of the CTRs that online marketers are dealing with. Hanan says that this was Champs' first wireless ad buy, and that judging from the positive response, Champs would consider doing similar campaigns for other promotional events.

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Avesair's network of sites usually has eight to 10 campaigns running concurrently, and its list of big-brand advertisers includes American Express, Citibank, Mercedes, and FTD. Most campaigns are a month long; some even last for a full year, with Champs' weeklong campaign being an example of a campaign launched in a time-sensitive fashion.

FTD is also running time-sensitive campaigns across the Avesair network. MSN, Weatherbug, Hollywood.com, and The Sporting News are a handful of the 50 websites in the network.

FTD's first campaign ran during the holiday season from December 16 to 25, with a 10% discount offered on all FTD.com flowers and gifts. The second campaign, scheduled to run from February 1 to 14, will target — what else? — those buying Valentine's Day gifts for his or her special someone.

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