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Orange runs with in-SMS ads concept

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Orange has run the world's first in-SMS advertising trial in Switzerland in partnership with Amobee Media Systems, a provider of advertising solutions for mobile phones. Several major brands participated in the project.

Orange says it ran a trial with SMS-embedded ads in Switzerland to leverage the mobile advertising potential in European markets, saying that SMS is probably the most efficient channel to link brands with mobile customers. With widespread usage, text messages reach a much larger audience than traditional media, and that SMS are not intrusive and can be consulted by mobile users at any time.

Customers who signed up to the trial were offered a discount on their invoice in return for insertion of advertising in the SMS they received. Advertising was inserted at the bottom of the message in the remaining available characters, total capacity of an SMS being limited to 160 characters.

"Text messaging represents the largest potential advertising opportunity in the mobile world," comments Zohar Levkovitz CEO at Amobee Media Systems. "Given that billions of messages are sent and received every day, the number of total viewers exceeds audiences of the largest web sites, TV and radio stations and newspapers. When it comes to global audience reach no media format exceeds text messaging."

Ads inserted in peer-to-peer SMS have a much higher chance of being read as they are less intrusive than the usual SMS push. In-SMS advertising allows for the integration of multiple interactivity features such as click-to-WAP, click-to-call or click-to-download. Moreover, using Amobee's technology, Orange is able to accurately target specific geographical zones or delivery times. Test results measured during the nine-week testing period are very positive in terms of acceptance rate, service delivery, click rates, number of inventories and the impact on brand recognition.

"This is a groundbreaking solution and we're very happy to be the first to test it," comments Fabrice Allegro, Vice-President Marketing and Solutions at Orange Switzerland. "Mobile advertising provides a compelling opportunity for brands and their media agencies while allowing our customers to consume more mobile services for less."