Bluetooth ads at Pearson Airport

Bill Brooks from Vancouver-based Bluecasting Canada dropped in last week to update us on what was happening with his company’s efforts to get more ad campaigns happening using Bluetooth-enabled wireless phones.

The take-up has been slow but his firm had a fairly big moment this year when Cisco signed on to hump its Human Network marketing campaign. Bluecasting has set up three Bluetooth transmitters at a couple of gate areas and in the luggage area at Pearson, with large static ads encouraging business people to use their phones to view Cisco ads.

The acceptance rate — basically the number of all Bluetooth-enabled devices in range that OK’d the download — has been about 10 per cent.

That’s not huge, by any measure, but does mean Cisco is suddenly directly engaged with a bunch of business people and able to reinforce their primary marketing effort.

Cisco has been happy enough with it to go to a second phase, which will include what Brooks says will be more impactful media content – such as news and weather reports.

The Cisco ads I viewed were pretty pedestrian and, arguably, pointless. Just recycled TV spots, so Round Two could definitely use more relevant information.

One spot I did like, unrelated to this, was for Vancouver nightclub. If you were there on the right night, and downloaded a Bluecast spot, you could use it to get into the club on another night when Bacardi was pouring free rum for the evening. The only way to get in was showing that ad on your phone. 

THAT is where this sort of thing starts to make sense, though advertising via Bluetooth still involves a leap of faith that people have Bluetooth phones and actually know how to enable that feature. It usually takes a bit of drilling down to find all that, and you have to wonder how many people will bother to figure it out.

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3 Comments on “Bluetooth ads at Pearson Airport”

  1. Josh Coffman Says:

    The bluetooth ad for the nightclub is very creative.

    I personally have a bluetooth capable phone but I never have the bluetooth on. I do not like using the bluetooth headsets/earpieces and it eats up battery time which I need for voice and data on my blackberry.

    I wonder if that 10% was for bluetooth capable phones or for Bluetooth enabled phones which actually had bluetooth on.

    Having this feature can be a nice addition to a digital signage advertising campaign but one is more likely to get more participants from an SMS ad though.

  2. Michael Says:

    Same here.

    And I imagine 100,000 cell phones a day around that point, of which 900 have Bluetooth turned on, of which 90 allow the ad (heaven knows why), of which 10 work out exactly how to do this.


  3. […] this type of creativity that drives industries like ours.  Instead of using Bluetooth for mundane ads, incentives and general “timed promotions”, when folks actually really start to build valuable APPLICATIONS that enhance the experience or […]


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