Feeds

Free Wi-Fi aims to snag Mondeo man

Ford reaches out to roaming gadget geeks

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Anyone logging onto one of the UK Wi-Fi locations run by free-hotspot.com and online-4-free.com this summer can expect to have to wait through a video advert for the new Ford Mondeo, before they get the promised free internet access.

The free Wi-Fi service is funded by advertisements. Some of these are simply static web pages, while others - including the Mondeo campaign - are video-based "Ultramercials", as the ad industry somewhat nauseatingly calls them, and can be anything from 15 seconds to a minute in length.

"Wireless advertising is the next big thing," claimed Marcel Misdorp, free-hotspot.com's sales veep. He said previous Ford adverts on the network have achieved click-through rates of six per cent, which is pretty good for an online ad.

He said the free Wi-Fi technology should work with any Wi-Fi-capable device, including PDAs and smartphones, but noted that so far 95 per cent of free-hotspot.com's usage is laptops. The smartphone proportion will rise though, once users realise it's both feasible and quicker than GPRS, he suggested.

Meanwhile, the giant car-maker claimed that sponsoring the Wi-Fi network fitted in neatly with the new Mondeo's status as its "most technologically-advanced" vehicle so far. However, there is no exemption from the ads for anyone perspicacious enough to already own a Mondeo, nor can the cars themselves go online yet.

"The new Mondeo is striking and unmistakably a member of the Ford family," the company said. "It is the latest and most advanced expression of Ford's 'kinetic design'. The distinctive front end has chamfered corners and a deep offset between the top of the bonnet and the front wings."

It added: "A muscular shoulder line runs through the side of the car to a high point at the rear. Distinctive rear lamps also feature carefully designed graphics that enhance the overall feeling of premium quality."

Hmm. Muscular, kinetic and technologically advanced - it sounds like a gadget geek's wet dream, which is presumably the Ford marketeers' aim.

The hotspots running the Mondeo ads include Meshhopper's former Thames Online network, now rebranded as online-4-free.com, plus free-hotspot.com's UK network of cafés, bars and other locations. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?