JiWire Unleashes Mobile Ads for Free Wi-Fi Access

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

JiWire, San Francisco-based location-based mobile advertising company, announced Mobile Ads for Access, a media experience that enables advertisers to offer audiences free Internet access in exchange for engaging with a brands advertisement on mobile devices and tablets.

David Staas, JiWire‘s interim president and CEO, announced the new service today at Street Fight Summit West, focused on the business of hyperlocal content, commerce and technology.

The offer is similar to the Ads for Access offer first launched for laptops by JiWire for Hyatt Hotels back in Aug./09, but now geared by the smart phone and tablet.

”It’s the same concept but optimized for smart phones and tablets,” Staas says.

Mobile Ads for Access was driven by the rapidly evolving way consumers connect to the Internet. In Q1 2012, 45% of all Wi-Fi connections were driven by smartphones and tablets across the JiWire network – an increase of 50% over the last 12 months. Mobile Ads for Access compliments the existing Ads for Access solution designed for laptops. Now brands can create a value exchange offering on any device in premium venues.

Mobile Ads for Access provides a deeper level of interaction on mobile devices and tablets. In addition, users can express their gratitude by reposting to Facebook and Twitter. For example, a consumer opens their smartphone or tablet browser and is presented with a Wi-Fi login page, which includes a Mobile Ads for Access offer from a brand. When the consumer completes the brands engagement, such as watching a 15 second or 30 second video, they are then connected to Wi-Fi.

“As mobile advertising matures, solutions need to go beyond the standard banner to drive engagement,” says Staas. “By offering mobile consumers a value exchange, brands can make mobile advertising useful, creating a win-win for both consumer and brand. We created Mobile Ads for Access with that in mind, and by tying in social media, brands can maximize their exposure with a solution that combines social, mobile, and location into one experience.”

JiWire is initially rolling out Mobile Ads for Access in airports, with malls and then coffee shops to follow.

“We hope to have full deployment over the next couple of months,” says Staas.

To date, companies such as British Airways, Comcast and Hyatt have signed on as launch partners for the new program. In a few initialpilot programs, launch partners have already seen tremendous success, garnering a 38% engagement rate and a 67% video completion rate – approximately 30% higher than the industry benchmark. (To gain free Wi-Fi, the consumer must complete the full ad before the browser in charged.)

The program on mobile can be fully customized to meet each brands marketing objectives. The specific call to action in order to receive free access can take any form: watch a video, download a whitepaper, play a brand-integrated game, or sign-up for a new service – providing both branding and direct response opportunities.

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