Cellcom does Mobile Advertising...

Israel's largest mobile operator Cellcom has launched an advertising-funded games service, reports MobileIndustry.biz. The game titles (no word on which ones these are) are free to subscribers and the network has apparently enlisted some of the heavyweights as advertisers: Disney, Nokia, McDonalds, Diadora, Adidas and Samsung are all listed to have "already signed up". Campaigns are apparently being designed by Saatchi & Saatchi, BBDO and McCann, so on that front all ingredients should be there.

Unfortunately, the press release remains a bit foggy on how it is actually done. It talks of "ads appear[ing] as product placement in the game and within different areas of a games environment" and they say that "[t]he digital coupons and product placement methods used in the trial have proven themselves with high conversion rates among [their] clients" but no numbers or more insight is being offered.

With the limited information provided, the question unfortunately remains if this is only a PR coup on the flavour of the month or if it is indeed commercially viable. Next time?

Update: Some results of the trial can now be found here.

NOM is in Europe

One of the best game ever to have been created for mobile phones is finally, finally coming to Europe. I would have loved for us having been the ones to do it but, hey, you cannot always win. In any event, in spite (or because?) of an oddly early 70's design feel and simple graphics, it is a great game that beautifully shows what mobile gaming can do (a view shared by many reviews, such as the ones, here, here and here).

The story of NOM is - for a mobile game at least - very long. The game had been released as early as 2002 by Korean developer Gamevil and has recorded more than 1 million downloads in Korea alone. You could consider it the mother of all 1-button-games, a category considered by many as being the perfect entry point to mobile games (here's a feature on Nom and some other of Gamevil's gems).

So, good folks of Disney's Living Mobile (the lucky ones who got their hands onto it for Europe), good luck with it!