Holistic take on mobile ads

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It's a sure bet that mobile content has legs when Madison Avenue starts calling. While carriers and media companies are exploring subscription methods for extracting revenues from mobile content, the wireless equivalent of a media buying firm is offering them as a-if not alternative, than supplemental-means of bringing in cash.

Third Screen Media has just released a mobile advertising platform that links advertisers, carriers and content publishers, allowing them to easily interlace ads among all types of mobile content, whether it's a picture message, a video stream or a WAP page. While mobile advertising certainly isn't a new concept, Third Screen's holistic approach to it appears to be unique.

Unlike TV or a newspaper, mobile content is not a single format-numerous content providers are providing all kinds of media isolated on the network. What Third Screen's engine does is manage a mobile content campaign across all of those different formats, ensuring an advertiser's message gets shown regardless of what type of content its targeted demographic happens to be accessing at the time. Currently, ads are "hard-stitched" into materials, either embedded in a Web page or inserted into the video stream, said Heidi Lehmann, vice president of content, strategy and acquisitions for Third Screen. What the Third Screen engine does is allow carriers or content publishers to dynamically insert ads into the content stream regardless of the format. A car video ad, for instance, would lead off a mobile TV clip, an animated banner for the same car would appear on a WAP page or be tagged as a link to the bottom of a text message-all served up from the same platform.

-"Advertising to the mobile masses" by Kevin Fitchard, TelephonyOnline.com, Jan. 25

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