03 October 2007

 

Singapore, 3 October 2007 From 4 October 2007, StarHub will begin a trial to test out a new mobile advertising service that will allow its mobile customers to download discount coupons onto their mobile phones, for redemption at selected retail merchants. Called ‘Coufon’, and created by UK-based mobile media company, Affle, the service will initially have the support of nine retail merchants (see Appendix A) during the trial.

"As part of our drive to deliver more value-added services to our customers, we believe that the ‘Coufon’ concept of offering mobile coupons is both convenient, and non-intrusive to our mobile customers. ‘Coufon’ is entirely user-triggered, so our customers are empowered to use the relevant discount coupons only when they want to," said Mr Anil Nihalani, vice president, StarHub’s Mobile Service. "This trial will provide us with useful feedback on what types of products and services our mobile customers would like to see on the ‘Coufon’ platform."

Mr Anuj Khanna, founder and CEO for Affle, said "Consumers are always on the look out for attractive deals and discounts! Affle believes that mobile phones offer the most convenient media to deliver coupons to users. Consumers can now enjoy the ease of carrying and redeeming a catalogue of attractive merchant discounts on their mobile phones. Our innovative solution is also compelling for merchants because it manages the full life-cycle of a coupon from issuance to redemption."

At the start of the trial, which is open to StarHub's entire base of 1.6 million mobile subscribers, over 80,000 mobile coupons from the nine merchants will be initially available for download. While these mobile coupons are only available on a first-come, first-served basis, additional mobile coupons may be added in subsequent weeks depending on how quickly the mobile coupons are downloaded and redeemed.

To use ‘Coufon’, StarHub mobile customers with a Java-enabled mobile phone can download the mobile coupons by sending the message ‘Coufon’ via SMS to <6663>. The application will then be downloaded and installed on the mobile phone. Through the application, StarHub mobile customers will be able to select and redeem the mobile coupons at selected retail stores. There will be no mobile data charges for StarHub post-paid mobile customers accessing the application or mobile coupons, while standard GPRS charges do apply for StarHub pre-paid mobile customers.

Advertisers’ Perspective

The ‘Coufon’ trial will also allow StarHub to ascertain the viability of offering the service as a targeted advertising platform for potential advertisers.

Said Ms Germaine Ng Ferguson, assistant general manager for StarHub’s Advertising Sales department, "along with cable TV advertising, print advertising via Telescope, and online advertising via Telescope Online, ‘Coufon’ expands StarHub's advertisers' choice of platform into the mobile space. We will be monitoring how our customers respond to the discounts available through the ‘Coufon’ service, to further understand how receptive the consumers are for such value-added services."

Commented Ms Christina Oliver, marketing director for Courts (S) Ltd, "as a customer-driven and innovative retailer in home products, we are always looking for new and exciting ways to reach a large yet targeted audience. The ‘Coufon’ service fits those requirements. We are extremely excited to be part of this trial that not only elevates mobile services in Singapore to a richer, more user-friendly level, but opens up a whole new marketing platform that allows us to communicate to our customers more effectively."

"As the number one cosmetic brand in the world, Maybelline represents much more than accessible yet cutting-edge cosmetics. It represents energy, attitude and style. To continue to stay relevant to our customers' lifestyles, we are always looking at new and exciting ways to reach our customers that is both creative and impactful. We are proud to be part of the ‘Coufon’ service that encapsulates many of Maybelline's core values," Ms Grace Tan, product manager, Maybelline agreed.

Finally, Mr Raymond Kam, group director of leading media-buying agency Optimedia, said, "This innovative service opens up a new channel for advertisers that is able to give them immediate access to a targeted yet large pool of mobile customers. With Singapore having a highly-penetrated mobile market, the advertising reach of the ‘Coufon’ service is extremely broad and the platform is flexible enough to accommodate a wide range of advertising and promotional activities. It also represents a medium which can differentiate an advertiser's message from the general promotional clutter. The ‘Coufon’ platform has some very unique and interesting attributes that advertisers should look carefully at."

Advertisers interested to learn more about the ‘Coufon’ service can email coufon@starhub.com or call StarHub’s Advertising Sales Department at (65) 6725 2028. For more information on Coufon and StarHub, visit www.coufon.com and www.starhub.com respectively.

APPENDIX A

The following merchants will be participating in the ‘Coufon’ trial launch -

  1. Ambrosia Café
  2. Baize China One
  3. Central Restaurant
  4. Courts (S) Ltd
  5. Essilor –Transitions
  6. Mary Chia
  7. Maxwell Masaala
  8. Maybelline
  9. The Therapy Place