MediaMorph: Bluetooth

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What it is: The newest addition to the U.S. out-of-home arsenal. Bluetooth has been around in Asia and Europe, but it's only recently migrated stateside. When an outdoor ad is Bluetooth-enabled, it broadcasts short-range wireless signals with additional marketing information to a passerby's electronic mobile device, such as a cellphone or BlackBerry. "Anything you can imagine getting off the Internet, you can get with Bluetooth," said Patrick Nagle, chairman-global marketing strategies for Kameleon, a Paris-based Bluetooth technology provider. Bluetooth can send text, video, animated graphics, flash graphics and readable bar codes.

Who's offering it: Kameleon just signed a deal to provide technology to Viacom outdoor in the U.S., but there are several other technology providers in the global Bluetooth market, including Hypertag, WideRay and BlueCasting. "Imagine a subway poster being the conduit to a 30-second ad," said Jodi Senese, exec VP-marketing, Viacom Outdoor.

How it's been used: U.K. agency Filter launched a Bluetooth campaign in London train stations for Coldplay's "X&Y" album. Video screens asked travelers to initiate their Bluetooth discoverable mode to receive song clips. At Heathrow airport, Volvo promoted its "Life On Board" documentaries in the business lounges, urging passengers to switch on Bluetooth in order to receive video trailers.

What the buyers say: "Adding Bluetooth to out of home is like the birth of a new medium," said Jack Sullivan, senior VP-media director, Starcom USA, Chicago.

The big what if: Not every cellphone can receive Bluetooth signals. Kameleon estimates only about 14% of U.S. phones are Bluetooth-enabled and Internet ready. It expects that number will rise to about 30% in the next year and a half. Additionally, marketers will have to create incentives for consumers to turn on their cellphone's Bluetooth capabilities and receive the signals.

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