So, what’s the report on Chinwag Live’s second event Mobile Metamorphisis? Well I’m a little torn. I think without Jonathan MacDonald (one of the speakers), it would have stood the chance of being a little dull. However, with him, it descended into a hideous .com self parody. Jonathan should have turned up for the first Chinwag event: Wobble 2.0.
Jonathan was representing Blyk, a company aiming to make a free, advertiser-funded, mobile phone network. Blyk was one of the main reasons for a bunch of us to go along tonight. It sounded like a brave idea – and one which might espouse a new fairer relationship between brands and consumers. And the company has some very impressive team, including the ex-president of Nokia as CEO.
Aside from being – frankly – gobby, Jonathan came out with a lot of stuff which I thought we’d left behind in 1999 meeting rooms. Perhaps, he told us, they only needed a small audience to get big advertising revenues because their advertising would be so much more effective and engaging than everyone else’s. DM he told us, shortly before the batteries fell out his calculator, needed audiences of millions becuase its typical response rate is 1.5%. The advertising on Blyk was going to get 60% response rates (I think he actually said 90% but I don’t want to misquote!) so only 10,000 customers would be needed. Although he did assure us that he could do that sum becuase it was “all 10s”.
He also told us his advertising would be different and more engaging on their platform. For example, not just “Honda is great” but “Which do you prefer, Honda or Fiat” (ahem, I think the wiseness of advertising your competitors has been fairly well documented. And when was the last time you saw car advertising saying “Honda is great”).
Chair, Tim Green – from Mobile Entertainment Magazine – then asked: “but aren’t your target market (16-24 year olds) all skint”. At this point we were treated to another visit to 90s. The first credit card people have in their wallet, we heard, is likely to be the one you use for life. He inserted a fictitious statistic at this point saying that this random statement was true in 80% of cases. Perhaps Jonathan should have a look at the stats from the most promiscuous market there is: the mobile phone market. But lets not lets the truth get in the way of a good story. I’m can only assume they’ll be whipping him with their two page business plan as they listen back to the podcast in the office tomorrow.
Very interesting points from lots of the rest of the presenters. In particular, Tim Green’s comments that most “entertainment” downloads are actually “self expression” – ring tones, wallpapers etc. And Russell Buckley from adMob who is saying he’s served 1bn mobile banners in the last 6 months.