In a sign of the expanding role of mobile phones in the Philippine marketing scene, leading wireless services provider Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) and its technology partner Zad Mobile, Inc. received Tuesday an innovation award for mobile advertising from the GSM Association (GSMA).
At the Mobile Asia Congress held here this week, the “1-in-5 Panalo” promo that SMART had recently implemented for the global cola brand Pepsi was awarded Best Mobile Advertising in the GSMA’s inaugural Asia Mobile Awards 2007.
The mobile multimedia platform Mercury™, developed by another SMART technology partner, Netherlands-based 3ple-Media, was also awarded by the GSMA as the Most Innovative Carrier Infrastructure, another category in the association’s Asia Mobile Innovation Awards.
The GSMA is the global trade association for mobile operators, and its citations are considered the Oscars of the mobile communications industry.
Done together with US-based Zad Mobile, the Pepsi promo was one the most successful promo campaigns for the cola brand, and put the country in the international spotlight as an emerging hotbed for mobile advertising in Asia.
“We are of course very happy and deeply honored, and we thank the GSMA for this award – the third from the GSMA for Smart after Smart Money and Smart Load,” said SMART president and CEO Napoleon L. Nazareno.
“This international award highlights the huge potential for innovation that mobile phones offer to the advertising community in the Philippines,” said Danilo J. Mojica, SMART’s head for Wireless Consumer Division.
“Pepsi emphasizes pushing the boundaries of teen-relevant technology. Our partnership with SMART has opened many doors to reaching our consumers and building a strong affinity with them on a real-time basis,” said Maricelle Narciso, Marketing Director for Food and Beverages of the Philippine Branch of Pepsico, Inc.
Global, award-winning technologies
According to the GSMA, the new Asia Mobile Awards were created “as a platform to showcase leadership and diversity for mobile content, products and services across Asia. A specialist panel of independent analysts, journalists, and industry experts, judged the winners. The Asia Mobile Awards are open to operators, vendors and the broad value chain from across the mobile industry that provide products and services that are commercially available in at least one Asian market.”
“We are delighted with this year’s Asian Mobile Awards – they recognize the sheer pace of progress that’s been made right across the region’s mobile communication market. Our congratulations to the winners and nominees and our thanks to everyone who participated,” said Rob Conway, CEO of the GSM Association.
According to the GSMA, the Asia Mobile Innovation Awards were created by the GSMA “as part of its Mobile Innovation Programme to encourage breakthrough technology, applications and services in the mobile industry by bringing together small and medium-sized companies developing innovative mobile products, industry investors and mobile operators.”
Jumpstarting mobile advertising
With mobile advertising predicted to explode into a billion-dollar global industry in just a few years, SMART had partnered with Zad Mobile and 3ple-Media and invested in award-winning, state-of-the-art systems that are expected to drive the company’s mobile advertising efforts. SMART’s moves are geared toward jumpstarting the development of mobile advertising in the country.
From 3ple-Media, SMART had acquired Mercury™, a fast, robust, and high-performing technology that allows the cellular operator to harness the richness of multimedia messaging as a compelling tool in the delivery of mobile ads.
Through the Zad Mobile Advertising Platform (ZMAP), SMART subscribers will receive only the ads that are meaningful, relevant, and interesting to them. It provides value and incentives in exchange for their participation. Most importantly, it assures subscribers of privacy and complete control over the choice whether to receive advertisements or not.
To advertisers, what this means is a much greater depth of consumer engagement via the mobile phone – a very personal device to more than 50 million actively subscribed mobile users in the Philippines – enabling them to talk to the right people in the right way.
Offering convergence and synergy
“We are working closely with the GSMA to help develop metrics, standards, and best practices for mobile advertising. We look to this with great excitement, because simply put, that device in your hands now is the convergence of advertising,” added Mr. Mojica of SMART.
“Operators and advertisers worldwide are taking a closer look at mobile advertising and SMART intends to lead in this area”, Nazareno said., “Given SMART’s leading position, we will provide the advertising community new tools that can complement very well campaigns implemented in the traditional media. At the same time, we will put in place policies that protect first and foremost the interests of our subscribers.”