Celltick’s LiveScreen ‘bypassing operators’ with direct to consumer mobile ads

I’ve been having a look at Celltick. I’m half sold on the concept, half deeply unimpressed. The concept, in a nutshell, is this: When you’re phone is not being used, Celltick’s software will float an advertisement across it.


My problem is that I like when my phone isn’t being used. I look at it to see what the time is. I don’t look at it for inspiration, challenges or entertainment. That all starts when I flick off the standby screen. In fact I’ve had more than a decade’s worth of experience of dismissing my phone’s standby screen whenever I want to ‘do’ something on it.

Can’t argue with the numbers though. They’ve apparently got over 38 million folk ‘connected’ to the service. Mysteriously, I’ve never, ever, ever seen it in use in the wild. And I do get around. Just, obviously not anywhere near their Portman Square headquarters as yet.

Link: Advertisers’ direct cellphone connection – International Herald Tribune

Celltick believes it has solved the problem of intrusiveness with a silent ticker that floats across the screen of a handset while it is not in use, a tactic that a few other companies are trying to exploit as well.

Celltick baits users with little bits of content, such as a news headline, stock quotes or games, on the screen of an idle phone. Two clicks, in some cases one, and the content arrives downloaded from the Internet.

Obviously you need some fairly enlightened mobile operators to run this with. It’s only in recent times that it’s been possible to buy a handset in the UK, walk out the shop with it and get it to connect to the internet without arsing about (and no doubt incurring stupid data rate charges too). And you also need some fairly decent mobile handsets. I’m willing to bet that half the handsets on sale in the UK aren’t compatible.

So I think good news and I think bad. I’ll err on the side of good and I’ll see if I can take a look at the LiveScreen service in the wild sometime soon.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

1 reply on “Celltick’s LiveScreen ‘bypassing operators’ with direct to consumer mobile ads”

Just to let you know that even when Celltick’s “ticker” flicks across the idle screen, you still get to see the time, date and whatever else you have set for your “idle-screen” display. Imagine a TV news ticker running across the bottom of the screen, without interfering with the rest of your screen. When something is of interest, you can then click through to reach the content itself, which can (but doesn’t have to be) ad-funded.
As for seeing it in use in the ‘wild”, Europe and the USA are “slightly” more conservative when it comes to implementation of content and mobile marketing media.
More “adventurous” cultures include Thailand, India, Philippines, LATAM and Russia and the “Eastern Bloc” – which is just to mention a few countries where you’ll find Celltick’s LiveScreen Media powered services.
If you happen to be at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona 2008 next week, feel free to check Celltick out in Hall2 (Booth 2C15).

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