SOURCE: Rhythm NewMedia

October 11, 2006 02:22 ET

The Future of Mobile Advertising Shows Off at Marathon Mobile Ad Competition

Advertising Creatives Fan Out Across New York City to Create 30-Second Ad Spots Using State-of-the-Art Nokia Mobile Devices

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 11, 2006 -- The Marathon Mobile Ad Contest, held as part of the IF: the Inspiration Festival, awarded its top prize for "Inspiration Finds You," a 30-second spot produced by a creative team led by Jason Moore. Conducted with support from Rhythm NewMedia and its mobile video ad serving infrastructure, the contest brought together many of the leading creative talents working in digital media today. Entries included a wide range of short, high quality spots that leveraged the state-of-the-art mobile video and wireless capabilities for the Nokia N93, the most sophisticated video-capturing mobile device on the market today. Provided to each team by co-sponsor Nokia, the N93 incorporates a 3.2 megapixel camera with 3x optical zoom and DVD-like quality video display, which provided participating teams with all the tools needed to shoot and produce cutting-edge mobile advertising.

The first annual Marathon Mobile Ad Competition was among the marquee events at IF, which curator Juliette Powell describes as a forum "where art, science, technology, innovation and business cross-pollinate with insight, creativity and opportunity in unprecedented ways." As the first-time organizer of the event, Powell sees the potential to create an annual symposium to promote the new mobile medium. "I came up with the idea for the contest so that people could find inspiration in New York and capture it with the technology at hand. That the What IF participants were so successful says a lot about their abilities, and the potential for mobile advertising."

The event attracted leading art directors, designers, writers and digital artists who teamed up in groups to produce 30-second spots suitable for viewing on mobile phone and handheld device screens. The teams were challenged to create ads promoting New York City as the worldwide hub of inspiration using only their innate talents, with the Nokia N93s serving as the production medium. Teams had 48 hours to write, shoot, produce, edit and submit their entries, which were judged by a panel of creative directors from a handful of the world's top creative agencies.

"The high level of submissions made choosing the leading creative very difficult; however we all thought that the winning team showed that a truly compelling piece of advertising still wins -- no matter the size of the screen," said Nancy Hill, the North America CEO of Lowe Worldwide, part of the Interpublic Group of Companies. "Using a Nokia Nseries mobile video device to shoot and show the spot, they brought the city of New York to life AND made it memorable for anyone who views it."

From the open first stage, six teams were shortlisted for the final competition during which entries were screened for the jury panel. The winning entry, "Inspiration Finds You," was singled out as the best video and praised by the jury for its "courageous thinking, resourcefulness in taking advantage of mobile video technologies and vivid portrayal of New York City's dynamism and ability to inspire the creative in all of us."

"It was a great experience and we all enjoyed pushing ourselves and our creativity to the limit," said Jason Moore. "The creative possibilities for mobile advertising are just coming into focus, and it is exciting to be able to contribute in a meaningful way to this new medium." In addition to Moore, the winning team included Isabel Walcott Hilborn, Jonathan Askin, Matt Kirk, and Ross Williams. As part of their award, each team member was presented with an exclusive, unreleased video device.

"Major brands are coming to realize that mobile advertising is a highly targetable and cost-effective channel to reach consumers," said Sonya Chawla, Director Business Development for Rhythm NewMedia. "In fact, Jupiter Research is predicting a global mobile TV market of $11.7 billion by 2010. Given that 3G infrastructure continues to come online around the globe, compelling, engaging creative is the final piece needed to establish mobile networks as an important new medium for brand communication. The What IF competition shows conclusively that creativity can thrive in the mobile medium, and we congratulate the winning team and everyone who participated in the competition."

The mobile device used for the competition can be viewed here:

About Rhythm NewMedia

Rhythm is a company enabling ad-supported mobile media, end-to-end. Rhythm's solution provides comprehensive mobile campaign management, and can support advertising on mobile video, WAP/HTML, mobile search, and mobile messaging. Rhythm's technology enables advertising that has broad reach, sharp targeting and precise frequency management. Rhythm automates key business processes and enables measurement and reporting to each member of the mobile advertising value chain. Rhythm is currently working with leading mobile operators, brands, content providers and advertising agencies worldwide.

About IF : the Inspiration Festival

IF is the next generation of conferences. IF explores the critical issues and trends that influence the economy, art, science, media and technology. IF features both pioneering and cutting edge thought leaders known for inspiring a vivid dialogue that deepens our understanding of the critical trends shaping business and culture. Drawn from a cross-section of industries, IF presenters are on the leading edge of these issues and trends, and share their provocative insider perspectives through immersive presentations and dialogues.

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