Nokia ad service is launched! A potentially revolutionary milestone for Mobile advertising..

Today Nokia launched Nokia Ad service

The Nokia Adservice may well be one of the most significant announcements this year and I believe, it will transform the industry.

Here is my analysis on the Nokia ad service.

To understand why this is a seminal announcement, we need to understand that the advertisement model is very significant. It is the main driver on the Web (web 20) (and that includes all forms of advertising like video).

I believe that the Ad model will also be a major driver to the Mobile Web as I indicate in my book Mobile Web 2.0.

But there is a problem.

The good news is: we have billions of devices – more than PCs

The bad news is: that they have nothing in common except Voice and SMS.

For most part, neither of these are programmable.

To make matters worse, the device stack is fragmented and brittle. By fragmented, I mean, a Wintel like situation does not exist on mobile devices. And by brittle I mean that layers in the stack are too tightly coupled – making introduction of new elements very difficult

For advertisers, this is bad because

a) It is almost impossible to target advertising to customer profiles

b) The target audience is fragmented

Clearly, an appetite for advertising exists with the success of both Admob and screentonic, both of whom have reported a billion ad impressions.

But the impressions themselves cannot be targeted because very little USER information is available to the third party (advertiser). Some limited device information is available through mechanisms like UAprof but that means, ads cannot be targeted to customers (using the equivalent of cookies on the Web).

The other end of the spectrum are the Operators. Traditionally, they have always thought of themselves being the key players in leveraging advertising. For third parties, dealing with Operators is very difficult.

Further more, Operators in the West do not have the leverage on the actual device stack (much as they would like to have).

The result is: Advertising, as I envisage in Mobile Web 2.0 has not taken off so far ..

The Nokia ad service provides a very interesting alternative to third parties because it is an Off portal initiative across all Nokia handsets globally.

This truly changes the game from an advertiser perspective because:

a) They deal with one entity(Nokia)

b) They potentially access ALL Nokia devices ACROSS operators globally

c) They can target the customer base because the Web/Mobile gateways are run by Nokia (off portal)

From a third party advertiser perspective, working with a company like Nokia would be far more preferable than working with the many Operators globally and not getting anywhere.

In fact, a while ago, one Operator told me that:

‘The whole problem we have in the West is – Operators have no control over device manufacturers. In Japan, DoCoMo writes the (device manufacturer’s) f*****g catalogue – and here in the UK – we are like ‘Argos’ – we just browse’

Note: Argos is a shopping catalogue service in the UK. What this comment means is – NTT DoCoMo in Japan tells device manufacturers exactly what to build – and thus controls the device totally. In the West, that does not happen. Their point being, if all the devices would only come in line (under control of the Operator) – all would be well (for the Operator of course!)

This does not affect ‘On Portal’ – but on portal initiatives are really not taking off for most people

Hence, I believe that

a) The Nokia ad service will revolutionise the Ad serving market for mobile devices

b) It would help many companies to actually reach global customers(all Nokia devices) and also target global customers(since much more about the customer is known in this scenario)

c) .mobi is also a beneficiary – this may legitimise the .mobi market

d) The impact on companies like admob and screentonic is probably negative because they cannot hope to achieve the reach and the targeting of customers as Nokia is doing. But on the flip side, they will get a lot of interest because of the impact on Mobile advertising

With both the Snake game and Ringtones, Nokia has created two industry segments. This may well be the third

I would be blogging about this a lot more. Watch this space!

Well done Nokia!

Some notes below from the Nokia site:


Nokia Ad Service provides a worldwide reach to advertisers through its network., one of the largest mobile portals with over 100 million monthly visits in 120 countries, has already joined the network.

Campaign messages can be customized to any mobile phone in many countries. Advertisers can optimize their spend by delivering specific ads to target groups.

Planning campaigns

Targeting: ads reach the right consumer based on categories and profiles through our ad platform.

Creative management: artwork is delivered in various formats – including text links and banner advertisements- to match consumers? mobile phone capabilities.

Campaign preferences: Nokia Ad Service builds a campaign for maximum flexibility. Advertisers can adapt their strategy based on performance whilst running campaigns. They can use service options such as frequency capping and time-based sequencing to deliver advertising messages effectively.

Run your campaign

Trafficking. You are able to closely monitor the traffic at any time during the campaign.

Reporting. The results of your campaign are available immediately, at any time, via a secured internet site.

Running campaigns

Real time reporting: advertisers can closely monitor the traffic at any time during the campaign through user-friendly traffic reporting formats and measurement visualizations.

Optimizing: Nokia Ad Service campaign managers continuously monitor campaigns to maximize the return on investment.

Learning from campaigns

Understanding: Nokia Ad Service helps advertisers learn more about consumers’ response during their campaign with online monitoring and reporting tools.

Reporting: campaign results are available immediately via a secured internet site. Nokia Ad Service customers can personalize their reports by time, by publishers, by creative elements, etc. A simple, effective, and transparent service. The opportunity to reach a wider audience.

Our mobile ad server delivers sophisticated campaigns. Publishers can capitalize on the following:

Categorization in Nokia ad network to receive relevant ads

Flexible setup of any mobile publishing service

New source of ad revenue without deploying ad sales and operations

Full technical support to help with implementation

Detailed user profile while respecting users’ privacy

Users’ data is secure, protected and maintained in our ad platform

The implementation of the service is a 3-step-process:

Step 1: create the order form to outline different formats of advertising,

Step 2: receive ad tags from Nokia Ad Service and place them in the desired location throughout your mobile internet service,

Step 3: access full reports 24 hours a day. Metrics are available on a flexible set of cross relational rules.


  1. David says:

    Hi Ajit,
    Just come across some news on Nokia Ads today in New Media Age: (SUBSCRIPTION)
    Would be interested to hear how you think such social responsibility measures could effect the potential of Nokia Ads?

  2. This is the first time i heard about this service, is this still available and how we can use this. Is there any affiliation services as well, would be glad to know about the updates :)

  3. Argos also do home shopping :)