Thursday, May 08, 2008

Ringback tone advertising launch in Turkey

Musings of a Mobile Marketer reader, Refik Çağlayan, let me know about a new mobile marketing technique being launched by Turkcell (the leading network operator in Turkey). They've launched 'TonlaKazan' (which means 'Tone and Win') using ringback tones (those are the ringtones that you hear when you call someone up and are waiting for them to answer). By choosing a branded ringback tone on TonlaKazan, from the likes of Coca Cola, Kraft, Nestle, Nivea, P&G and Unilever, Turkcell customers will win airtime or credits each time their callers listen to said ringback tone. So it's a loyalty scheme rather than a sales promotion.

This is, in effect, pay per listen advertising and if audio is a part of your branding (as it is with many large brands - think how many hit records have been generated on the back of advertising), then this could be very effective as it uses downtime and is potentially more interesting and memorable than listening to the endless ring-ring you would normally hear.
It is possible to become a member of TonlaKazan through web, wap and SMS channels. Customers simply select the branded music of their choice as a RingBack Tone that they want their callers to hear. 4play Digital Workshop is the team behind the idea on behalf of Turkcell.

TonlaKazan has a performance-based pricing model, Cost Per Listening (CPL) in which advertisers are charged according to the amount of branded RingBack Tones that callers hear, providing a measurable advertising channel.

Audio branding is very powerful so there's clearly potential in this idea and the ability to charge and reward by the time listened is a sensible commercial model.

You can preview the tones on the site in full before you choose it. The site is all in Turkish, but if you go to the home page, and click on one of the buttons that say 'Dinle', this will give you a preview. If anyone calls me, they hear a ringback tone (currently the theme tune to Austin Powers - I really must change that!) and underneath the track, you can faintly hear the usual 'ring-ring' sound so that you know you're waiting for me to answer the call as opposed to thinking you might have dialled a wrong number and got through to some kind of IVR (interactive voice response) system. The ringback tones Turkcell is using here is doing the same thing. Underneath the track, you can faintly hear the ringing tone.
The full press release is here.

Interesting, very interesting.