Sprint focuses on pre-targeting with Pinsight Media+

Sprint dials into the mobile advertising space with the launch of Pinsight Media+, an advertising platform specializing in targeted, mobile ads. Sprint’s CMO Bill Malloy unveiled Pinsight Media+, which is currently in production, at the Mobile Marketing Association’s Smarter Mobile Marketing conference in New York. 

“We thought long and hard about the target,” Malloy said. “We found them.”

Pinsight Media+ will send targeted ads to the more than 50 million customers who use Sprint by means of mobile, Sprint.com, Sprint Zone, Sprint Web for mobile devices, and third party publishers.

Sprint teamed up with publishing platform Amobee for Pinsight Media+. While Amobee CEO Trevor Healy acknowledged that customers can opt out of the mobile advertising service, he suggested that customers might as well see advertisements that they enjoy.

“There’s a certain level of control that you can have and not have. If they search the web, they’re going to see ads,” Healy said. “…Consumers have to see this as a benefit – that the targeting becomes an information share, not an advertising pitch.”

Amobee’s ad platform allows consumers to interact with mobile advertisements, such as by rotating a Nokia phone to get a full 360 degree view or by visiting different rooms in a  home to view products on ebay.  Healy said that 91 seconds is the average engagement time consumers spend on the ebay ad.

“Ads on mobile and tablets are going to become like infomercials. You will decide whether you want to interact with them or not,” Healy said.

Healy said that Sprint’s new advertising service differs from other mobile ad platforms in the way that it focuses on pre-targeting rather than re-targeting.

“Re-targeting is rude…If I surf for a car and I choose white color and black interior and three days later I’m surfing the web or my mobile phone and I see that exact car being pitched to me, that’s rude…It should be illegal,” Healy said. “…Pre-targeting is I identify that that person might be in the market for that BMW, therefore I’m going to share information with him or her about that car. Now you delight the customer.”

Malloy and Healy both participated in a panel discussion following the Pinsight Media+ announcement, along with AccuWeather CEO Barry Lee Myers and Digitas president and panel moderator Tony Weisman, regarding whether this year was the year of the mobile. However, Healy later noted that it will be the year of the mobile for years to come.

“Every year will be the year of the mobile because something seismic will happen every year for the next 10 years,” Healy said. “The absolute point of arrival of an industry is when it turns from maturity to decline because that’s when it’s at its pinnacle.”

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