Monday, May 21, 2007

The Simplest Location Based Advertising

Since a couple of days back, Airtel - the top cellular service provider in India - has latched on to something very simple yet ingenious. They have started, or at least tried out, location based advertising in the simplest, crudest form.

The concept is very simple, you are in a certain area, you receive advertisements from businesses in that area, thereby increasing the possibility of you seeking them out - simply because they're nearby. For example, if you're in a new town & it's lunchtime, if you get an advertisement for a restaurant in the next block, it's almost a given that you'll try the food at the place.

Well, the guys at Airtel figured that they already had a space to their use & what's more, it the contents of that space were dependent on (in fact they were) the location of the nearest cell. Nobody really cares about the cell information these days, because most people would prefer to use some sort of GPS capability in stead.

Somebody scratches their head and lo & behold, Airtel puts its own advertisement in the space in stead of the name of the nearest cell. Potentially, this could be an advertisement for the biggest shopping centre or bank or hospital near that particular cell and what you get is location based advertising.

Simplistically marvelous, I would say. Wouldn't you?

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