Idle Talk


And so to Celltick, which specialises in so-called Idle Screen advertising. According to VP Marketing Stacy Fassberg, we look at our mobiles around 30 times a day. Celltick capitalises on this by running ticker-style ads across the bottom of the screen. The company works with 25 operators around the world, and is particularly strong in South-east Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Operators make the final decision on whether they invite their customers to opt in to receive the advertising, or opt out if they are so bothered by it that they want to turn it off.
The one part of the world where Fassberg concedes the company has not so far had much success is Western Europe.
I think the problem is there are so many companies who want to work with Tier 1 operators in Western Europe that the operators just get bombarded, she says. So will 2008 be the year they wake up to the idle screen opportunity? I think so, running through into 2009, she says. Mobile marketing is something no-one can afford to ignore. ARPU is falling, even data prices are falling, so operators need to change their business models.  They tend to like proof that something works before they will try it. Well we have the proof, though working with 25 operators around the world.
According to Fassberg, consumers like the idle screen advertising approach. She says that more than 80% of consumers who are given the service by their network keep it. 35% click on the ads regularly, and there are an average of 10 transactions (clickthroughs) per user per month.
The company recently signed a deal with GroupM, which serves as the parent company to several WPP media agencies. The collaboration will see Celltick deliver eyeballs, while GroupM delivers the advertisers, in South-east Asia. All Celltick needs to do now is convince some of those European operators that idle talk can be a good thing.