3 November 2006

Goodbye, mobile phone bills. Hello, advertising. [International Herald Tribune]

Be the first to share

Blyk
Pitching itself as the world’s first advertising-supported phone company, a Finnish company called Blyk plans to roll out a free mobile phone service next summer aimed at 16- to 24-year- olds, first in Britain and then elsewhere in Europe, writes Thomas Crampton in the International Herald Tribune.

“Crucial to Blyk’s system will be creating advertisements that attract users, said Antti Ohrling, co-founder of Blyk and chairman of Contra Advertising, based in Finland.”

“We intend on only advertising information that people want and in a fun way,” Ohrling said. “To succeed, we must offer an enjoyable and simple user experience.”

As one could expect, the company’s staff list is filled to the brim with former Nokia people, including its CEO Pekka Ala-Pietilä, a former president of the Nokia Corporation, and Marko Ahtisaari, its highly regarded director of brand and design, who is a former Director of Design Strategy at Nokia (and son of a former Finnish president).

But claiming an advertising supported mobile phone operator as a “disruptive and potentially revolutionising new medium” seems a bit much.

Read full story

UPDATE: 7 November 2006

Meanwhile Business Week picks up on the story. It also underlines the “gold-plated” make-up of the company. Apparently the billionaire chairman of the German software maker SAP is one of the investors. But the question remains: “Why are so many smart people backing a company that has no revenue and doesn’t even plan to start operating until next year?”.

The trick is in the advertising. “Messages will be targeted to users and be integrated seamlessly with the handset.” Advertising will “never interfere with the primary function of the phone” and “if you do it in the right way, it’s something people [will] find useful and fun.”

“If the company’s approach proves successful, industry watchers say, it could dramatically affect the mobile phone industry and pose a serious threat to existing operators.”

Though Blyk will function as a “so-called mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO, meaning it will market service under its own brand but use the wireless network of an operator still to be named”, the company still faces serious challenges.

“For example, getting young people to sign up for the service will be a challenge, as will the logistics of shipping customers the SIM cards they need to use, and making sure the technology works. […]”

“Blyk must also convince advertisers. […] It will be difficult to measure what effect the ads are having.”

Read full story

Be the first to share
26 March 2015
Gov.uk’s open policy making toolkit – practical guidance on ethnography and more
The Gov.uk open policy making toolkit is a practical guide to techniques that can help you make better policy. The toolkit, which brings together the latest techniques to improve making and delivering policy, is based on …
24 March 2015
Ethnographic research drives IKEA’s global success
In a long Fortune Magazine article on IKEA's successful global expansion, author Beth Kowitt devotes quite a few paragraphs to the importance of qualitative, ethnographic research: "Today research is at the heart of Ikea’s expansion. “The …
23 March 2015
UK report on consumer problems in the mobile phone market
Calling the shots? is the title of a new Citizens Advice Bureau report that analyses consumer problems in the mobile phone market and explores opportunities for stronger consumer protections. From the executive summary: "The mobile phone market …
23 March 2015
Design fiction personas illustrate possible impact of educational tech
People talk about the future of technology in education as though it’s right around the corner, but most of us get to that corner and see it disappearing around the next. This innovation-obsessed cycle continues …
18 March 2015
The smartphone society
Just as the automobile defined the twentieth century, the smartphone is reshaping how we live and work today. Boston University sociology lecturer Nicole Aschoff explores it aLL. Half way down her leftist criticism of how the …
12 March 2015
Nudging and Choice Architecture: Ethical Considerations
Nudging and Choice Architecture: Ethical Considerations by Cass R. Sunstein Yale Journal on Regulation January 17, 2015 50 pages Is nudging unethical? Is choice architecture a problem for a free society? This essay defends seven propositions: It is pointless to …
11 March 2015
From design thinking to ethnographic thinking
In the broader business world, writes social anthropologist Jay Hasbrouck, design thinking "is already a stale buzzword — a concept that spread widely as a panacea for dull and slow-moving corporate cultures." "Some say it’s now …
10 March 2015
Empathy makes you only more egocentric
In a battery of experiments, Imperial College’s Johannes Hattula and his coresearchers Walter Herzog, Darren Dahl, and Sven Reinecke interviewed marketing managers about their personal preferences for a selected product or service. The researchers then …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

16 March 2015
Better Health and Wellbeing: Giving the elderly in Singapore sparkling golden years

Invitation: sharing session, Singapore, 30 March 2015   What are the hopes and fears of the elderly in Singapore? How can designers offer solutions that support the elderly in managing their health and wellness? What can healthcare professionals do to help them keep active? What role can technology play in the elderly’s daily lives? Design consultants […]

1 January 2015
Happy Playful New Year
21 December 2014
Experientia’s Twitter feed live

Experientia has now its own Twitter feed. Four months of Putting People First posts and other links have already been uploaded. If you followed Experientia on Twitter through the feed of its CEO, Mark Vanderbeeken, make sure to now also follow the company (but don’t unfollow Mark, who will keep on tweeting away). And while […]

19 December 2014
Putting People First blog redesigned

Experientia’s Putting People First blog has been redesigned. It is now entirely responsive, allows for easier browsing, searching, and filtering, and features larger images on the posts. The entire history of posts remains accessible as before. We are still tweaking things and welcome any feedback.

27 November 2014
Why the world needs anthropologists – an update

Why the world needs anthropologists – Coming out of the ivory tower Location: Padua, Italy, Centro Culturale Altinate/San Gaetano Date and time: Friday, 5 December 2014, 13:00 – 18:00 Padua, Italy, 5 December 2014 – The second edition of the international symposium of applied anthropologists attempts to erase the boundary between ‘pure’ and ‘applied’ anthropology, […]

30 October 2014
The BancoSmart ATM by Experientia for UniCredit selected for ADI Design Index

Last year Experientia designed the interface of an ATM of UniCredit, a major Italian bank. The interface is now rolled out across the bank’s ATMs in Italy, to great satisfaction of the bank and the customers alike, since interaction speed is much faster and error rates went down dramatically. Last year UniCredit and Experientia also […]

See all articles