Blue Onboard and Velvet Launch Trials of an Innovative New Bluetooth Marketing Solution on Buses

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The entire fleet of Velvet buses will be installed with Bluetooth and location-based technology to allow highly-targeted and effective bus advertising and marketing campaigns to be sent to passengers whilst they are travelling.

But to be clear, this is not just about generating additional revenues, it's about adding a differentiator to our service - giving passengers even more reason to use our buses and not our competitors. This also gives us, the bus company, a creative new channel to communicate directly with our passengers.

Blue Onboard has developed a Bluetooth proximity marketing solution specifically for targeting bus passengers, allowing highly effective campaigns to be run whilst the audience is in a state of dwell time. Velvet, a bus company operating services in and around the Eastleigh area of Hampshire will be their launch partner, allowing the system to be installed and trialled on all of their buses and routes. The Blue Onboard system will allow campaigns to be targeted by time of day, bus route and destination, location and even external factors such as the weather.

Phil Stockley, managing director of Velvet explains, "When Blue Onboard approached us about these trials we immediately saw the potential in this innovative solution for engaging with our passengers. Advertising generally represents a very small part of a bus company's revenue, and we don't allow external advertising as it would obscure our strong branding. However, by utilising this kind of technology we can create a significantly greater revenue stream than with traditional bus advertising, and without having an impact on how our buses look."

He goes on to say, "But to be clear, this is not just about generating additional revenues, it's about adding a differentiator to our service - giving passengers even more reason to use our buses and not our competitors. This also gives us, the bus company, a creative new channel to communicate directly with our passengers."

Matthew Poole, founder of Blue Onboard added, "Velvet's passenger demographics are perfect for this kind of technology. They run main commuter routes and several college routes, and carry shoppers to and from the town centre. Unlike the run-of-the-mill proximity marketing where you are simply blasting out ads from a static location, we are able to broadcast campaigns based on the typical passenger demographic at that time and the route the bus is on. The average bus ride is at least 30 minutes, and passengers naturally reach for and play with their mobile phones during the journey."

Expanding further, he says "If you want to drive footfall into your bar by way of a promotion, then what better way than to directly target pub and club goers on their way into town on a Friday and Saturday night? And these are the kind of target audiences that will happily embrace Bluetooth technology and accept messages to their phone. And this is a really key point - the message you are sending out must be relevant, and above all compelling, otherwise you run the risk of passengers starting to reject the messages, or switching off their Bluetooth altogether, because they're getting bored of them, or they are irrelevant."

Branding inside the bus will encourage passengers to activate the Bluetooth on their phones in order to receive offers and downloads, and to enter competitions. Research has shown that Bluetooth technology has a high level of acceptance and response rates - especially when promoted by means of a poster. Blue Onboard's technology is not just about pushing out content; but can fully integrate with messaging and the mobile Internet to give a rich interactive experience to the consumer. Their central application server, which is continuously being developed, has the power to update campaigns on any bus at any time over the 3G mobile data network.

The Velvet trial, starting in July 2009, coincides with the Eastleigh Music Festival and some of the bands performing there will be allowing their singles to be downloaded free of charge though the Blue Onboard system, targeting the student routes. The trials have also attracted interest from several brands that will be promoting competitions through the system to win prizes.

During the trial Blue Onboard are offering brands and local companies with a compelling message or exciting offer to use the system to promote their message at no cost for one month. To find out more about Blue Onboard, the current trials and the opportunities for advertisers and bus operators alike, visit .

For more information about how Blue Onboard can make your campaign more successful, contact Matthew Poole. Blue Onboard is a trademark of UK Mobile Media Limited. Bluetooth is a registered trademark.

About Blue Onboard:
Blue Onboard provides targeted and effective on-bus marketing solutions utilising Bluetooth, GPS and GSM technology. Blue Onboard is a division of UK Mobile Media Limited - a privately held technology and mobile services company, based in Eastleigh, Hampshire, UK. They specialise in interactive mobile applications utilising SMS, MMS, Mobile Internet and Bluetooth. Their mobile platforms have all been designed and built in-house, with a proven track record of delivering excellent mobile solutions globally.

About Velvet:
Velvet is an innovative, privately owned bus company founded in 2007, operating in and around the busy town of Eastleigh, Hampshire, UK with 12 buses and 16 staff. They have embraced new technology as a means of interacting with passengers, with one of the best subscribed Facebook fan pages of any UK bus company, and the use of Twitter feeds to provide up-to-the-minute service status information.

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