Here is how the advertising works. There are Bluetooth sensors in the airport at given locations, such as the Virgin lounge. They can detect any modern mobile phone that has its Bluetooth short-range wireless feature turned on, at a range of about 50 meters (150 feet). If you walk by, have your Bluetooth on (on your mobile phone, PDA, laptop, etc), you get pushed one of these ads. It appears on your phone as if you had been sent a message. You click on the link and get the full message. One of the first ads is a short videoclip about the latest car from Range Rover.
The WSJE article [that Tomi read about this bluetooth advertising] reports that a recent mAd campaign generated a 15% response rate.
And then Tomi just let’s rip:
First, this is the SAME intrusive interruptive annoying advertising that we all are trying hard to avoid today. It is the identical "free and annoying" ad strategy as putting banner ads on the internet, and follows on the idea of interrupting movies etc on TV with advertising. The public does NOT want this. The evidence is very plain. Dont’ be fooled that an early campaign has generated a 15 percent response rate – that is the novelty factor, and many of the recepients were unaware that those messages were ads.
Secondly this is NOT the philosophy of "permission-based" but rather a perversion of that. They push links to your phone without your permission, and then ask if you want the full ad. I don’t want ANYTHING pushed at my phone without my express prior approval.
I am getting tired of the ‘permission-based’ marketing spin. Marketers can seem to give up the control so they construe all sort of things as reasons to send you their ‘messages’ and ads. It was only recently that I realised to my shock that advertisers and marketers see ads as delivering ‘value’ to their audiences. Unbelievable! Talk about delusions…
And finally, Tomi points out that soon this ‘channel’ will be soon shut down anyway.
There are already mobile phone viruses that disguise themselves as Bluetooth messages. How soon does one of these figure itself out to pretend to be a car advertisement at the airport and start to infect dozens, if not hundreds of mobile phones about to depart that airport (and spread the virus rapidly around the globe). This is not science fiction, those viruses already exist, and they appear exactly like these ads, with a link asking you to accept a message and store it on your phone.
The users will learn that keeping their bluetooth turned on eats up your battery life and soon most of them will learn to turn it off, as the annoying messages will proliferate.
Proximity-based spam is cheap and fast. And stupid.
Hear, hear. Read the whole thing, as they say.