Nov 19, 2009 at 04:02 PM
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Sony Sponsors Mobile Fashion & Film

While sponsored Wi-Fi and branded apps have swept the U.S. this year, marketers may be wise to look to Asia for emerging trends in mobile content sponsorship. Sony and 3rd Space recently teamed up to provide bite size fashion and film content to Reliance Communications' 5 million GSM WAP users in India.

The new sponsor-funded video marketing campaign for Sony BraviaTV resulted in 301,000 downloads in the first 10 days. The free mobile video service was launched last month by 3rd Space - a global provider of mobile entertainment and marketing services for brand advertisers - with Reliance Communications, an India-based telecommunications company which boasts over 92 million subscribers.

Reliance Communications launched the mobile marketing campaign with Sony during the October Diwali celebrations in India, sending 700,000 SMS text messages to a cross-section of its mobile subscriber-base over ten days. The result was a strong 43% conversion rate with some 30,000 recipients per day following the embedded text link to browse the Reliance mobile internet site and download an average of two free videos.

"The introduction of our ad-funded service with 3rd Space has proven the viability of future mobile marketing campaigns, bringing together popular video content and major advertising brands in India," said Mr. Krishna Durbha, Head of Value Added Services at Reliance Communications.

The videos, between 2 and 3.5 minutes long and featuring international fashion shows along with Bollywood concerts and film clips, were all pre-rolled by a 15 second advertisement for Sony BraviaTV.

"Whilst many have been sceptical about the ad-funded model on mobile, the initial conversion rate achieved with Reliance is unique in terms of magnitude and response and supports our belief that ad-funded is the future for rich multimedia delivery," said Warwick Hill, CEO of 3rd Space. "It is clear that consumers want content for free on their mobiles - whether they don't want to pay or simply can't afford to pay - while brands are eager to find the best way to target millions of mobile users."