In brief: This summary – which includes excerpts from an exclusive interview Marc Overton, Orange VP of Wholesale, Business Development & Partnerships – examines the mobile operator’s mobile advertising strategy; outlines Monkey, the first of a slew of services specifically based on the Blyk model; and wraps up with insights from Alan Moore – an authority on social media marketing and founder of the Engagement Communication Consultancy SMLXL – who points out that content/services subsidized by advertising may have to be more than free to fly.
On the heels of the extremely popular posts on Blyk and MSG’s exclusive interview with Pekka Ala-Pietila, CEO and Co-founder of Blyk, the timing is perfect to deep-dive into Orange UK’s mobile advertising aspirations now that it has formally folded Blyk’s MVNO activities into its wider strategy.
The first service that draws from Blyk’s mobile advertising model – an approach built from the ground up to encourage a dialogue between brands and people that want to her their message by delivering people relevant advertising in tune with their preferences and profiles – is Orange Monkey.
The first Pay As You Go (PAYG) package for the U.K. market offers free music to customers when they top up their mobile. (Although PaidContent suggests the service is not about free music since the tunes you get to listen to (not own) when you top up add up to about 600 minutes each month. This translates into GBP2.14 ($3.53) for customers regularly paying GBP30 ($49.23) in phone credits. But that may just be picking nits since people are getting music at no extra cost.)
More about Monkey: it provides exclusive music, pre-release tracks and other content from Universal Music’s catalogue and relies on British broadcaster Channel 4 to get the word out to the target demographic (16-34 year-olds with mass market phones) via the Channel 4 portfolio including 4Music, billed the most watched music channel in the U.K. A clever twist and nod to the power of multi-channel promotion: The 4Music team will be the editorial voice of the official Monkey website which will carry news, artist features, playlists, exclusive content and competitions. (Check out the Orange site for more details and a video demo of the service.)
The promotion is about building buzz, loyalty and community. So, where does/will Blyk’s mobile advertising approach come in?
The focus on engagement and social networks is baked into the offer. As well as free music, Monkey offers customers free texts, allows for playlists to be shared on social networks, and it “delivers great offers from relevant brands direct to their mobile.”
Prior to the Monkey launch I was pre-briefed by Marc Overton, Orange VP of Wholesale, Business Development & Partnerships, who walked me through the concept and – more importantly – where brands and Blyk fit in the scheme of things.Read more »