Orange could replace dial tones with ads

Mobile World Congress: Orange is piloting a new advertising format that will see customers’ ringback tones replaced with advertising messages.


The format, which will first be beta tested by 10,000 customers in Egypt, is designed to spark conversations about brands between peers.

The audio messages can also be downloaded by the recipient by pressing the * button, meaning campaigns are accessible on any device or platform.

Customers will be able to choose from a catalogue of brands’ audio to download, that can vary from TV and radio ads to specifically-created content for the new format.

They will also be rewarded depending on how many people were exposed to their chosen adverts with credits worth up to €2 on their monthly bills.

Orange’s director of mobile advertising Ludovic Levy told Marketing Week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona: “This is a unique value proposition for customers and for advertisers we are proposing a pure social marketing product: what better than placing your brand in the middle of a conversation between two peers on a mobile phone where there is no multi-tasking and your audience is completely captivated.”

The format has a “huge scalability”, Levy said, with the potential to reach its 167.4 million global customers and their peers an average of four to five times a day.

Orange has chosen to roll out the pilot scheme is rolling out in Egypt and developing markets first because the rewards are equivalent to around 20% of their average monthly bills, compared to developed territories where it would only represent a small token.

Levy says the company would look to roll the scheme out to developed markets such as the UK if the trial is successful, but only to select influencer groups.

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