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Ad-pods offer to send charity messages to mobiles through proximity marketing

Fundraising consultancy Positive Fundraising is encouraging charities to embrace the opportunities of proximity marketing by using an ‘Ad-pod’ to deliver marketing messages to nearby mobile phones for free.
The device enables the transfer of content between mobile devices using the Bluetooth and WiFi signal. The transmission of the adverts is free for both the sender and receiver of the advert.
The Ad-po can send a variety of messages to mobile phones, ranging from animated images, to videos and redeemable coupons.
Ewan Hastings of Positive Fundraising believes there is a wide range of uses for Ad-pods, which weigh just 70g. These include:
* distributing a campaign message at a fundraising event, festival, fete or show
* asking for donations of clothes as people pass your charity shop
* promoting an appeal or ask for volunteers as people pass your charity’s office
The Ad-pod is particularly well suited to outdoor advertising since it can be carried by volunteers who can walk round an event or venue spreading the message further.
Crimestoppers used Ad-pods in 2010 at events such as the UK Superbikes Championship at Mallory Park Race Circuit and Formula 1 at Silverstone. Volunteers walked around the events with a portable Ad-pod distributing Crime Awareness campaigns to the crowds. According to Crimestoppers and the event organisers, “the result was a significant drop in crime at these events”.

Hastings, a fundraiser with over 18 years fundraising experience, said: “I see the real potential in it for charities as its uses to fundraising and campaigning work are limitless.”
He said that this method of proximity marketing was not spam advertising “as using Bluetooth is an opt-in, permission based, way of advertising. A charity proximity marketing advert requires the customer to agree to receive it.”
He suggests that the initial cost of the device could be covered in a funding application to a grantmaker keen to support new technology or by charging local businesses to use it to target their advertising.