BT Cellnet is searching for brands to take part in a one-year research programme into marketing opportunities offered by text, graphic and audio messaging and next generation mobile phones.
Advertisers are being recruited to produce ads in the form of messages on existing GSM mobile phones, using simple text; the next generation of GPRS (general packet radio service) or 2.5G phones, using simple graphics, text and possibly audio; and on third generation UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) phones, which have audio and video capabilities.
A panel of 4,000 mobile phone users have been recruited to take part in the trial, which will run in three phases – 2G, 2.5G and 3G.
BT Cellnet has teamed up with Engage, the sales house, to help run the research programme.
Advertisers will have to pay up to &£18,000 for each phase they want to take part in and will receive detailed feedback about their campaign.
They will also be given the opportunity to take first advantage of new formats, as they become generally available, and will be entitled to a refund of money spent on research against future media spend.
Ben Christie, director of interactive solutions at PHDiQ, the interactive media arm of BT Cellnet’s media strategy agency PHD, says: “The networks don’t know how to exploit opportunities inherent in this new technology. This research will help advertisers and media owners to determine what opportunities there are.”
Text messaging has been the surprise growth area for mobile telecommunication, with more than 1 billion intra-network messages sent each month in the UK.