Facebook partners with VivaConnect to scale-up its Missed Call Ad Unit business

Facebook had launched a missed call ad unit business specifically for the feature phone-heavy Indian market. To scale-up its reach across mobile devices, Facebook has partnered with VivaConnect.

This Missed Call Advertisement-based initiative is Facebook’s first foray into using primary feature of a mobile phone (i.e a missed call, voice call or SMS service), aimed specifically at helping advertisers reach their consumers in developing markets. India is quickly catching up to the US, Facebook’s biggest market. Last April, Facebook crossed the ‘100 million users’ milestone in India. Around 66% Indians access Facebook on mobile devices of feature phone segment and over 95% of India’s mobile subscriber base has a Prepaid connection.

Moreover, this is a market in which ‘giving someone a missed call’ is common, both in terms of practice and parlance. Overseas, people typically say, ‘I missed your call’; but here, a ‘missed call’ is something one deliberately places. Team Facebook is optimistic that the new Missed Call Ad format will bolster advertising on Facebook, through the mobile device, in India.

Maxine Schlein, Product Marketing Manager, Emerging markets at Facebook, says, “Consumer behavior in high-growth markets is changing very rapidly and we are poised to respond to that as quickly as possible. We see brands delivering useful and entertaining content like sports scores, news, or celebrity messages that people find valuable enough to take the time to listen to and interact with. There is also a good tie-in for direct response advertisers who can use the missed call unit as lead generation, where a person is essentially raising their hand and expressing interest in a good or service.”

Missed Call
Michelin India’s advertisement campaign over Facebook with call to action over Missed Call. An easy connect with brand for users accessing the site over mobile phone.

How it works: In addition to the regular Facebook Ads, the Missed Call Ad Unit has a ‘Missed Call’ button. As users click on ‘Missed Call’ button, they are automatically taken to the dialing screen that features the telephone number. As they initiate the call its automatically disconnected after two rings. In response they promptly receive a call back or an SMS delivering interactive content such as music, cricket scores, celebrity messages or simply a brand message from the advertiser.

In this Ad unit, the easily available user’s ‘social data’ on their respective Facebook pages, will help brands to fine tune the way they target and communicate with people. Moreover, mobile access will allow for effective re-targeting of consumers and personalizing the content.

Vikram Raichura, Managing director, VivaConnect, says, “Facebook has been a hot trend over mobile in India and so have been missed call services. Together, they would be a perfect solution for delivering an enhanced brand experience over mobile. Missed calls offer an instant way to spark conversations.”

VivaConnect connects brands and their consumers through innovative mobile marketing services. The company holds over 30 million interactions in a single day through services of Voice call, Missed Call, SMS, Email and Mobile Apps.

Featured over Afaqs and Media Avataar.