Ad funded model to rival Blyk launches in Croatia

 In advertising

At the MMA Mobile Marketing forum today in Budapest, I witnessed a truly excellent presentation from Alexandra Deutsch, Managing Director, Out There Media, and Matthias Grundböeck, Director Residential Marketing, VIPnet.

They presented on a new ad-funded model from Croatian operator Vip called “Tomato Plus”.

Now while they did not say it on stage, this is the first ad-funded MVNO to be launched to rival Blyk – and one we should watch closely. 

The offical release (which I can’t find anywhere online, so I think I may be breaking this story) I have transcribed from a press release dropped on the desks of delegates at the conference today – so it is now public knowledge and is presented below.

There is also an interesting debate around the Tomato Plus concept over at Mobhappy.

I was quickly typing notes on my laptop as they were presenting, summarised below.

  • The proposition allows brands to talk directly with subscribers via SMS or MMS
  • They take a 360 degree view of what the customer likes – through browsing habits etc
  • The users get 50 SMS / 50 minutes per month for signing up to receive ads
  • They then receive MMS & SMS messaging from advertisers related to their preferences
  • Users register on the internet – and this is the great part – demographics and lifestyle are collected
  • They cap the impressions at 10 messages per day – but it is likely to likely to be 3-5 ads/day
  • If no inventory is available due to a tight preference match, then branding info or community messages are sent
  • The users like receiving messages – if they do not receive a message each day the think the system is broken
  • They will charge more for tighter targeting
  • The database is a learning database – so gets better over time
  • Tomato Plus is a separate brand from Vip

A question was raised about this being a “Blyk copy” and did they think that all operators would go this way. The guarded answer was that sub brands could benefit from this without diluting the main brand, and users could be migrated across to the sub (ad-funded) network.

This is a really interesting concept, and seems to have been set up very quickly by a couple of smart cookies – see some more information on the founders of Out There Media Alexandra Deutsch and Kerstin Trikalitis over at GoMo news.  I think I may have scooped GoMo – sorry Bena!

The official press release is below. This company and the offer are one to watch. We’ll be following this closely here at London Calling.


Out There Media launches Mobucks™ AdFund with Mobile Operator VIP in Croatia

  • Global mobile advertising company Out There Media pushes the envelope in Croatia with latest mobile operator deal with Vip Croatia
  • Innovatively named “Tomato Plus” mobile ad-funded tariff is to change the shape of the Croatian mobile advertising industry

Mobile operator Vip Croatia (member of mobikom austria group) and mobile advertising leader Out There Media have launched a new ad funded tariff branded “Tomato Plus”.  Tomato Plus is enabled by Out There media’s Mobucks™ AdFund marketplace technology.

Mobucks™ AdFund

Mobucks™ AdFund is part of a successful product portfolio from Out There Media’s Mobucks™ range.  It enables the creation of ad-funded tariffs for MNOs and MVNOs. This mobile advertising marketplace enables consumer to sign-up, share their data and receive targeted mobile SMS and MMS campaigns – which is exchanged for free airtime.

“Vip was the first operator in the region to understand that the mobile customer base is the ideal target group for advertising”, says Alexandra Deutsch, VP Operator Relations of Out There Media.  “With Mobucks™ AdFund, Vip enables advertisers to effectively reach their target group and at the same time increases the value for its “Tomato Plus” customers by offering them advertising information targeted to their personal profile and giving them free airtime of SMS in return.

“Mobucks™ AdFund by Out There Media gives us the opportunity to offer genuinely interesting, relevant and useful information to our customer based” states Matthias Grundböeck, Residential Marketing Director of Vip. 

“With response rates of up to 75% the first results are exceeding our expectations and we are looking forward to a bight future of our “Tomato Plus” offer and to making this a great success story together with Out There Media”.
About Out There Media

Out There Media is a global leader in mobile advertising, active in 9 markets, headquartered in Vienna with offices in Athens, Kiev, Skopje, and L.A. Today Out There media reaches over 100 million subscribers – out of which 38 million are exclusive via its mobile advertising marketplace Mobucks™.  Mobucks™ is a cross operator, cross advertiser marketplace matching demand and supply for advertising over mobile phones.

Existing Clients include: Mobilkom, Vodafone, M-Tel, Vipnet, Kievstar,Si Mobil, Lowe,  Draft FCB, Universal McCann, Ogilvy, Coca Cola, Nokia, Sony Pictures, Austrian Airlines etc


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Based in London, The Actionable Futurist and former Global Managing Partner at IBM, Andrew Grill is a popular and sought-after presenter and comementator on issues around digital disruption, workplace of the future and new technologies such as blockchain. Andrew is a multiple TEDx and International Keynote Speaker.