SMS2.0 breaks new ground during IPL

Source: Mail Today

By Ranjana Kaushal in New Delhi

As the 45-day old IPL cricket extravaganza reaches its fag end advertisers across categories are busy analyzing the returns generated from the various mediums used.

While traditional media such as print, electronic and various below-the-line activities such as hoardings continue to dominate the scenario, a new advertising mode in the form of SMS2.0 has emerged as an effective medium for advertisers. The medium has generated almost 20 million impressions so far.

“The demand for cricket content soared during the IPL season and advertisers such as Pepsi, Perfetti, Aviva, Nike, Levi’s, ICICI Bank and others have rolled out extensive ads on SMS2.0 during the season. These companies are aggressively targeting the youth of the country. The usage of SMS2.0 by the youth during IPL has grown by almost 70-80 per cent. It has generated around 20 million impressions during the IPL season,” said Anuj Kumar, executive director, South Asia, Affle, a UK-based technology company that developed SMS2.0. “There is going to be a price increase. (But) we will not increase by as much as we like to as our business is growing and we are gaining in volumes,” managing director Arvind Uppal said.

SMS2.0 is the latest application available that allows mobile subscribers to send coloured messages and fun emoticons. The application has features that enable mobile users to send emails and various multimedia attachments through SMSes.

While using SMS2.0, user see a banner at the bottom of the mobile screen, which contains options to access content on various topics such as astrology, cricket, jokes and Bollywood. And when a SMS is sent, the screen throws up content on the above mentioned topics, instead of showing a bland ‘Message Sent’ screen. This is the interactivity period when users click on the categories of their choice. The click on the relevant topic opens up further options in that category. Advertisers can also place ads here. Users can further click on these ads.

The application is currently available on the Airtel network.

“We are in talks with mobile operators as well as handset manufacturers to offer the SMS2.0 application. By the end of this year almost all major telecom operators will offer SMS2.0 on their networks. Since the launch of the service, SMS2.0 has been able to cross 200 million impressions,” said Kumar.

According to industry estimates mobile advertising in India is now worth over Rs 40 crore and is expected to increase to Rs 500 crore by 2011.

In order to further increase the area of services available on SMS2.0, Affle is looking at partnerships with companies in the entertainment and news media spaces. Besides, the company also plans to launch a Google search application on SMS2.0. This would help users conduct a Google search for a text message sent. A message for a meeting at a particular destination would enable the SMS2.0 user to track down the location of meeting using Google search. The option of a map search would also be present.

Affle plans to launch SMS2.0 in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, China, Taiwan, Japan and Australia in the near future.