Feeds

Watch ads, get free calls says Virgin Mobile US

Getting 'something for something'

Application security programs and practises

Virgin Mobile USA is giving hard-up youngsters the chance to make free phone calls in return for watching ads. The "yoof-oriented" cellco has hooked up with ad outfit Ultramercial to launch the ad-for-airtime service called "SugarMama".

So far, Virgin Mobile USA - a joint venture between Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Sprint Nextel which boasts some four million punters - has recruited Xbox and Pepsi, among others, for the ad service.

Punters interested in SugarMama must first fill out a "demographic profile" before confirming that that they are at least 13 years old. Once the admin's been done, they can watch a streaming video ad.

Customers get free airtime depending on the number of correct questions they can answer about the ad. Alternatively, they can respond to text-based ads to earn free minutes.

Either way, the suits behind the scheme are looking to generate revenue from mobile advertising. For advertisers, it's yet another way to get their brand or product across to this hard-to-reach youth audience.

"Everyone is racing to shove ads into the mobile channel," said Howard Handler, top marketing bod at Virgin Mobile USA. "But the last thing young people want is spam on their phones.

"This service acknowledges the savvy and free will of our customer base. Our attitude, and that of our partners, is that these customers' time is valuable. They should get something for giving us something. And that's what SugarMama is all about."

Earlier this year mobile marketing firm I-movo began recruiting punters to beta test a new service that offers mobile phone users in the UK to send text messages for free in return for viewing ads on their phones. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.