Echo 360 Co, a new local ad agency, spent 100 million baht to offer mobile voice advertising, the first of its kind in Thailand.
"Mobile penetration in Thailand has surpassed 100% of the population, and this creates a new form of advertising based on mobile voice," said chief executive Artima Suraphongchai.
Echo 360 offers the Freebie mobile voice ad service, giving users free calls for 180 minutes a month, with a condition to listen to advertising for 15 seconds per call.
The service is available for mobile phones on many cellular networks and does not require a 3G signal.
Mobile users can subscribe to Freebie by dialling *115 followed by a destination number they wish to phone. After that, they must listen to a 15-second voice ad before the call will be connected.
Customers must register and provide personal information. The voice ads they hear will be suited to their profile. The free calls can be made to any mobile or fixed-line number.
The Freebie service is now available for Advanced Info Service's 37 million subscribers. The main targets are those aged 15-35.
"Mobile voice advertising can attract specific users, as the ad content can be managed to fit any user's profile," said Ms Artima.
She said mobile voice advertising has been successful in Turkey and India.
"We spent a year conducting a feasibility study about mobile voice ads and developing our own patent technology to provide ads on this media channel," she said.
The cost of advertising through mobile voice is higher than for the mass media because it targets a specific group of users. The Freebie ad rate is charged based on the number of calls.
Target industries for ad accounts include finance, consumer goods, food, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and airlines.
Echo 360 plans to attract 500,000 active users by year-end and 1.5 million by next year.
About the author
- Writer: Suchit Leesa-nguansuk
Position: Senior Reporter