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New York-based mobile advertising startup Locket takes user engagement to a new level

Man­hat­tan-based mobile adver­tis­ing start­up Lock­et is adding a new twist to its user engage­ment strat­e­gy: ask­ing mobile view­ers to vote on the ads they see.

Mobile adver­tis­ing — a new approach to targeting

Peo­ple with media jobs in mobile adver­tis­ing agen­cies might be a lit­tle baf­fled by this, but when you know how Lock­et works it all begins to make sense. Essen­tial­ly, Lock­et pays Android users when­ev­er they engage with ads which the com­pa­ny deliv­ers to their lock screens through its app. No user will make a for­tune, of course – they get 1 cent every time they swipe left to watch a movie trail­er or pounce on an adver­tised deal – but accord­ing to the startup’s CEO and co-founder, Yun­ha Kim, after a few weeks or months there’ll be enough to make a dona­tion to char­i­ty, slap onto a gift card or sim­ply cash out.

The com­pa­ny specif­i­cal­ly deliv­ers ads to the lock screen – described by Kim as “a sacred, per­son­al space” – and makes a point of only select­ing high qual­i­ty ads that users have asked for. In effect, users are incen­tivized to engage with mobile adver­tis­ing cam­paigns by being offered only what they’re inter­est­ed in and get­ting a small cash reward every time they act on an ad (they can also sim­ply choose to swipe right and return to using their phone).

MyAds – the page where users vote on the ads they see

To enhance the engage­ment expe­ri­ence fur­ther, the com­pa­ny has just launched a “MyAds” page upon which users can add the brand names whose ads they’d be inter­est­ed in fol­low­ing. And they can also vote on ads oth­er users have sub­mit­ted. So far, the brands which have topped the pop­u­lar­i­ty tree are Sam­sung, Sony and Google, which have accrued over 1,000 votes.

But Kim is clear that an ear­ly lead doesn’t trans­late instant­ly into users get­ting ads for Sam­sung, Sony and Google. She said, “We have to do a good job with that. If some­one says, “Hey, I want to see Sam­sung ads,’ I can’t just call them and have them adver­tise. There’s a sales cycle.”

The lock­et app has been down­loaded close to 90,000 times since the launch in July and, accord­ing to Kim, there are now 80,000 active lock­et users.

Mobile adver­tis­ing just got a lit­tle smarter.

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