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Bluetooth Proximity Broadcasting – next big advertising channel or SPAM 2.0?

Bluetooth proximity broadcast certainly sounds impressive when you drop it on a client in a business presentation but is this emerging technology the next big advertising channel or SPAM 2.0?

Bluetooth proximity broadcasting is just beginning to emerge in the U.S. but has found success it the Europe and Asia as a way to extend and deeper brand interactions with traditional advertising channels like outdoor and out of home.

To get you up to speed, BPC is a new way to deliver content to a consumer’s Bluetooth enabled handset.  Content is delivered through a small Bluetooth Server (about the size and shape of an Airport base station) that can be located at poster sites, retail locations, entertainment venues, public spaces or embedded in interactive kiosks. The content can be as simple as text and still images or richer media like audio samples, video clips and Java applications.

So what are the pro’s and con’s?

– It is something new and a lot of consumers have never seen it before.  At this early stage the technology can add cutting edge cache to a brand and it has a ‘wow’ factor to consumers who have never been exposed to advertising like this.
– It can be a powerful point of sale tool to extend traditional advertising channels.  For example, an outdoor billboard can give a consumer a lit of store within walking distance where they can find the advertised brand and a discount coupon to drive sales into the retailers.
– Adoption of Bluetooth devices continue to rise with sales of the Motorola RAZR and more car manufacturers installing it as a hands free system in their cars.
– It can deliver content up to 10 times faster than downloading it via a mobile network and since the content is delivered directly from the local server there are no network charges for the brand or the consumer through their wireless carrier like with SMS.
– Messaging can be highly personalized, tracking users and delivering them relevant content.
– Service provides remote monitoring via the Web so content can be updated remotely

– Requires some technical proficiency to be able to operate cell phone and active Bluetooth option on your phone
– It can be intrusive if you are not interested in the message
– Must be used in highly traffic areas with a lot of pedestrian traffic or idol time to be effective and has a maximum range from the server is 800 feet.

I think that in the end this channel will follow a similar path to other digital advertising channel where once the newness wears off the success of this channel will be determined by the quality of the content and resonance of the messaging.

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Creative Director, Designer, Brand Builder, Speaker, Podcaster, Crazy One. As a designer, I have 20+ years experience creating the strategy, concepts, and designs for award-winning integrated global advertising campaigns, building multiple global Fortune 500 brands and creating innovative digital experiences. As a leader, I have 15+ years transforming agency and client-side teams using a mix of creativity, business strategy, process and political skill to create innovative, world-class work and cultures that change industries and companies. My clients have included American Airlines, W Hotels, Disney, Citi, ExxonMobil, Acura, Old Navy, Nationwide Insurance, Verizon, Subaru and many others. My work has received over 150 international awards, my app designs have been named as one of the World’s 100 Greatest Apps, Apple has featured my work in 9 keynotes, 4 TV commercials and more.

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