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Swisscom Ad-Funded Pilot Yields Strong Results

swisscom_adinfuse.gifAd Infuse has released detailed information about their work with Swisscom on two ad-enable video streaming service pilots. The video channels were launched on Swisscom’s Vodafone Live! portal, and have yielded interesting insight into consumer reaction to mobile video ads and content consumption.

In June 2007, Swisscom Mobile embarked on a partnership with Ad Infuse to launch mobile ad funded & sponsored video services for the first time in the Swiss market. The video ads were placed in Ad Infuse’s ad network using leading Swiss media buying agencies ActiveMobile (part of Goldbach Media) and Publicis.

Advertisers included Adidas, McDonalds, Migros, Swiss Airlines, Novartis, Peugeot, Sony Ericsson, Mobiliar,, Canon and Opel.

Two separate channels were launched, with differing levels of ad support.

The first video channel – “Nur Zum Spass” – provided comedy clips from MoMedia. This service was completely ad-funded; the service was free to the consumer. The clips were from 1 to 3 minutes in length, and a new video was added each day for the first 30 days.


The second video channel – “50Rp music videos” – provided music videos at a greatly reduced price. Instead of the typical 3 to 5 CHF price point (€1.80 to €3.00), the ad-supported service priced the videos at 0.50 CHF (€0.30). A catalog of 20 selected music video clips from known international artists like Eminem, Fergie and Jay-Z was provided by Universal.



Ad Infuse’s AdInMotion platform was deployed to insert mobile pre- and post-roll video advertisements real time in active streaming video sessions. Since there are three resident languages in Switzerland, the platform was also used to target advertisements based on the customer’s language preference, and also to restrict the number of times a particular ad was seen by a unique user.

Additionally, targeted WAP banners were published on the music video WAP site to drive customers to Swisscom’s premium services. Stephen Upstone, managing director of European business development for Ad infuse explained, “in order to show return on investment to the advertisers, Ad Infuse also recommends targeting WAP banners around the video campaigns to give a brand response mechanic.”

Detailed advertisement impression statistics, such as “ratio of ads seen”, “unique users” and “delivered vs. undelivered impressions” were collected. Finally, customer acceptance and brand awareness were measured during the trial period through telephone interviews.

Results from the Pilot Projects

The data collected during these pilots revealed several interesting findings.

Advertisement Consumption:
• 90% of the users said they viewed the ads. 52% of the users reportedly viewed the video channels when at home.
• 82% of the users viewed the pre-roll ads to the end vs. 67% for the post-roll ads.
• The length of the advertisement proved to be a big factor determining the likelihood of an ad being watched in its entirety. 10 second ads were viewed to the end by 90% of the users, 20 second ads were viewed to the end by 80% of the users, and 40 second ads were viewed to the end by 60% of users.

Ad Recall and Response
• Depending on the advertisement, recall rates were as high as 29%. The averaging recall rate was 7% for all advertisements.
• WAP banner click-through ratios averaging 8% were recorded, driving customers to Swisscom’s premium services.

User Profile:
• 25% to 30% of the ad funded ‘Nur zum Spass’ viewers were first time mobile videos users.
• More than 60% of the users aged over 30, and more than 10% of the users aged 55 or older, used the service. These segments tend to have the strongest purchasing power and therefore its very interesting for advertisers to see that mobile video advertising works for these groups.

Consumer Acceptance:
• More than 80% of the users rated the model of ‘free video content in return for advertising’ positively. Only 2% of the users did not return to the service because they disliked the ads.

Bottom line: Effectiveness of Ad-supported Content
• 50% of the users claimed they would not have viewed the videos on the ad funded “Nur zum Spass” video service if it wasn’t for free.
• A 12-fold increase in uptake of ad sponsored premium music videos relative to the same clips priced at a premium on Swisscom Vodafone Live!.
• An 8-fold increase in uptake of ad funded comedy videos relative to similar premium channels on Swisscom Vodafone Live! portal.
• 50% of those who visited the ‘promo/landing page’ for the ’50Rp music videos’ indeed purchased a clip.
• 85% of the music videos published on the ad sponsored “50p Music Video clip” service achieved higher revenue compared to the same video file being published on the premium streaming music video clips service on the Swisscom portal.

“Through our successful partnership with Swisscom, we were able to explore the viability of a commercial business model behind ad-funded and sponsored video services,” said Brian Cowley, CEO of Ad Infuse.

“This case study is a great endorsement of the consumer acceptance of mobile video advertising,” concluded Upstone.

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