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Youth: Mobile Marketing, will it work?

No, this isn’t a rant about Blyk. So don’t worry. This is a look at how I think mobile marketing is being put to use, and whether or not it has had any effect on my spending, interesting, or anything of the sort really.

Way back in 2002 I got my first mobile phone, at the age of eleven. It was on T-Mobile, and I thought it was bloody brilliant to say the least; finally, I had a communication method. Along with T-Mobile, I also found I also received quite a few adverts; and for the most part, I remember them being totally useless (holidays, ringtones, or “Adult Services”), so I didn’t like them.

Then, I changed to Virgin Mobile, and it was much of the same. Except, Virgin are a little more concerned with what they said out to eleven/twelve year olds, and even up to this year, sixteen year olds. I got more ringtones offers, Virgin related offers, and quite a few other promotions too.

In all, they were pretty dull, pointless, and quickly deleted. They were nothing interesting, and they tended to be sent at some of the most inappropriate times (the middle of School, or something), and they would end up getting me into trouble.

Then, as I’m sure quite a few of you know, I joined Blyk. I had previously been asked about a new network being opened in the UK, and it would be funded by mobile advertising; and I was completely against it. I hate adverts; and I’m pretty sure everyone else does too. Yes, they make things free, but they are annoying, and tend to have really catchy jingles – which aggravates me beyond belief.

When I was told about Blyk, I forgot about my past resentment, and joined them. “Yay, free texts and minutes for adverts, and you never know they might actually be good!”

That’s where I think I was wrong. So far, nothing has been remotely inspiring, and I haven’t been keen to like new bands, or go to buy new products, or even existing ones. I’ll admit, I’ve got Sun Burn text alerts (I’m in dire need of them), but have I spent any money as a result?


Have I gone out to the shops and looked up a new brand or something I haven’t look at before?


And when I was being sent constant repeat reminders from Blyk to watch “Britain’s Next Top Model”, did I watch it?

I’m not going to say here that just because it hasn’t worked for me, it doesn’t work for others. I know, we’re all individuals in this crazy little world, and we all have the choice to be drawn into the marketing that is sent our way, no matter what medium was used to do so.

What I’m saying is that marketing is something the majority of us try to avoid. I have Ad-Block Plus installed onto FireFox, and before that, I had Norton block the ports I knew advertising was sent through.
Then on the TV, do I sit around and watch them? No.
On the radio do I listen to them? No.

And the same can be said for a lot of young people. No one I know sits around and enjoys or even watches TV adverts – the channel gets changed for four minutes. On the radio, they’ll change the station.

On-demand TV, and the internet has revolutionised the way we watch TV, and yes, this isn’t mobile, but on-demand shows have none of that advertising attached to it. Is then, a coincidence that more and more people are turning to these services to watch their TV?

Now I’ll say this, all the adverts I’ve got from Blyk, I’ll read, and then delete. If they require a response, I’ll respond, but that’s it. I honestly couldn’t care less about their content.

What’s worse is that Blyk knows my interests and age, yet I still get sent offers which are totally out of reach with who I am, and what I like. I still get the occasional offer for a Holiday, or I get informed about competitions they are running which I can’t enter due to my age.

As all advertising is, it’s a multi-million pound industry, and it will make money, and I’m sure it’ll become more overt to the different age groups as it expands. But at the same time, we don’t like them. Many of us use a combination of tools and methods to steer clear of the ghastly things. Therefore I don’t see how it can be that effective.

I can’t say for sure, but I would be shocked if a number of Blyk members, or even normal mobile users, who receive adverts, don’t open and delete as I do.
A lot of people I know are reluctant about joining networks supported by adverts, because they don’t like them. They don’t want to be bombarded with promotions and marketing which will only every annoy them.

Before you debate about how I may wrong, which I accept I may just be, think about this: have you ever heard someone say that they bought or did something because of an advert they received on a mobile?

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