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Bluetooth Based Advertising
Ed Kohler

It's not often that I find myself in a position of rooting against a technology, but this could be one of those situations.

Bluetooth Advertising: Businesses install a bluetooth radio at their location such as a store within a mall. If you happen to walk by with a Bluetooth enabled device, such as a cell phone, you're asked if you'd like to receive a message.

Here's how it works.

First, I enabled Bluetooth on my Treo since it's a bit of a battery hog to keep running all the time:

Enabling Bluetooth

Once enabled, I received a message asking me if I'd like to "Receive Media into Pics & Videos":

Accept an Image

That's a fairly cryptic message, but I think that's my Treo's fault. For example, it doesn't say who I'll be receiving the file from, which is pretty scary. My phone doesn't like to sleep with people it hasn't met.

I decided to accept the file, which caused this image to pop onto my screen:

Bluetooth Delivered Advertisement

That image could be an ad, an offer, etc. It's up to the business to decide.

As this technology exists today, I think there are quite a few problems that need to be resolved.

First, it's intrusive. Just because my Bluetooth is turned on doesn't mean I'm interested in receiving advertisements. It may just be because I'm using a headset. I don't want to be put in a position where I have to actively decline messages.

Second, I'm receiving files onto one of my most valuable communications device, which will end up being synced back onto my computer. I'm going to think long and hard before getting into the habit of accepting images that could contain viruses.

On the plus side:

Hyper-targeted advertising. Being able to advertise to people walking past your store sounds pretty awesome. And that could be valuable to many customers.

Other uses, such as pushing out promotions at concerts or trade shows, may work with some crowds.

It will be interesting to see if this technology catches on. I'm sure there are many uses for it that have not yet been discovered.

The implementation described above was by an Italian company called Proxima while demoing at CES last week. You can find more out about their products and case studies on their website.




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Comments

1. Posted by: Stefano on January 19, 2008 4:27 PM:

Good article! Only a clarification: if don't think that this technology is intrusive. If the user decides to not accept or reject the message, nothing happens. This means that user is not forced to do something when receive the first initial request. Only if he is interested, can accept the message. From my point of view, it's pure permission marketing.




2. Posted by: Ed Kohler Author Profile Page on January 19, 2008 8:31 PM:

Stefano, it may vary from phone to phone but in my situation I believe I need to accept or reject incoming Bluetooth connections. If messages timed out after a certain amount of time that would make a big difference from my perspective.




3. Posted by: Dan Hurd on January 20, 2008 10:18 AM:

Ed,
You are correct in assuming the cryptic message is generated within your treo . Unfortunately we in bluetooth advertising server / software products cannot control that . Also we really don't believe in what we call "shotgun" advertising where the user is not expecting a bluetooth advertisement . We instruct our clients that the take rate of ads delivered without prior knowledge is very low for exactly the reasons you described . We try to convince our customers and clients that the proper way to use this technology is to forewarn the consumer that they are in a "Bluetooth Zone" via signage , video or other means and the bluetooth advertisement is a solidifying addition to the existing advertisement .
Bluetooth advertising is taking off here in the US as we are now moving a substantially greater amount of our bluetooth advertising products here rather than abroad which was the case just two months ago.

When you have a moment take a look at our website and see how bluetooth advertising can be used and the different products we have available at

ProxiBlaster.com




4. Posted by: eBlue on February 7, 2008 3:27 AM:

our Bluetooth Advertising product Best & cool business idea!

eBlue Bluetooth Marketing




5. Posted by: hotel bangkok on October 29, 2009 2:55 AM:

We try to convince our customers and clients that the proper way to use this technology is to forewarn the consumer that they are in a "Bluetooth Zone" via signage , video or other means and the bluetooth advertisement is a solidifying addition to the existing advertisement . Thanks.




6. Posted by: Bluetooth Marketing on January 7, 2010 3:13 AM:

Bluetooth Advertising is the future.
Of course, we must seek that advertising bya target and not bothering


Bluetooth Advertising




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