Orange To Expand Mobile Advertising Services To All Of Europe, Including Localized SMS & MMS Ads

Orange To Expand Mobile Advertising Services To All Of Europe, Including Localized SMS and MMS AdsAs MWC heads into full swing the announcements are coming in hot and heavy, starting with Orange debuting its mobile advertising plans for 2010.

You may remember Orange announcing a pilot program about a month ago related to its integration with Blyk, dubbed “Orange shots,” which serves SMS/MMS ads based on user preference and other user data obtained through the carrier.  With the pilot proving very successful, Orange is furthering its plans to cover its entire European footprint by the end of 2010.

Orange is taking things a step further by bringing interactive SMS and MMS advertising into new markets and tailoring offers locally to give advertisers new and targeted ways to engage with customers, no matter where they might be located across Europe.  Depending on which market, each offer is tailored to incentivize customers with localized, relevant rewards such as exclusive content, film and games reviews, celebrity gossip, free texts, prizes and other benefits like up-to-date sports information.

The key to Orange’s strategy is its emphasis on tailored localized services for each geographic region in its footprint.  For example, Orange will debut a new interactive ad-supported service called “Mio” in Spain this month, which provides all mobile customers in Spain the chance to opt-in, reaching beyond youth audiences, and serving highly relevant and location-based ads tailored to Spanish mobile customers.

Other mobile advertising trials are also taking place in Egypt and Jordan in the first half of this year, allowing for expansion into emerging markets, as well as mature markets overtime.  This localized approach is exactly what carriers should have been doing for a long time – utilizing the data it retains to provide unparalleled targeting and relevancy possibilities for mobile advertisers.

Paul Francois Fournier, Executive vice president in charge of audience and advertising says: “Orange is at the forefront of giving advertisers exactly what they need – direct, targeted dialogue with customers. Supported by our global ad-sales network and combined with our unique multi-screen reach, our new mobile ad-models go beyond display advertising to create more value for advertisers, create a richer experience for customers and maximize the use of our networks with clever innovation.”

To help localize interactive offers in different markets Orange has formed strategic partnerships with various providers, including Blyk in the UK and Velti in Spain.  Last year in the UK, Orange launched a new prepaid tariff called Monkey for young pay-as-you-go customers, allowing advertisers to send customers targeted messages based on their feedback in return for great offers from their favorite brands.  Orange UK now has over 100,000 Monkey subscribers, and intends on furthering its success by its new 2010 initiatives.

The Blyk-provided pilot, or “Monkey” services released a short time ago, proved that carriers have the power to provide some of the best mobile advertising capabilities available.  As Orange furthers its strategy, it’s likely it will help other carriers wake up and smell the opportunity, though it may only be wishful thinking.