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MTV to launch wireless promotion

The cable network signs an advertising deal in which marketing company SkyGo will create wireless promotions for the network's Video Music Awards.

Will wireless kill the TV ad? Not anytime soon, but cable network MTV is hoping to use the new medium to promote its upcoming music-video awards show.

MTV and wireless marketing company SkyGo on Tuesday said that they signed an advertising deal in which SkyGo will create a wireless promotional campaign for the network's Video Music Awards, scheduled for Sept. 6.

The mobile advertisements will augment the online, print and broadcast campaigns leading up to the event. Redwood City, Calif.-based SkyGo will run TV ads across mobile sites on wireless networks, including those of AT&T, Sprint, Palm and OmniSky.

With the growing popularity of cell phones, personal digital assistants and other handheld devices, advertisers, publishers and wireless carriers are looking to the medium to promote goods and services to consumers and to strengthen brand awareness. Analysts, however, see roadblocks that could provoke some discontent among those same consumers.

The industry faces high hurdles in the United States because consumers have yet to accept the idea of receiving promotions through the limited and captive space of a handheld device. In addition, many wireless carriers have not opened their gateways to accept mobile advertising.

Earlier this summer, the Wireless Advertising Association moved to smooth some of those wrinkles with suggestions for standards for showing advertising on cell phones and PDAs.

Wireless advocates are focusing on the promising signs. The MTV-SkyGo deal hits what may be a key market: the teenagers and young adults who are fervent users of cell phones and also are the prime audience for music videos.

"There is no question that wireless data will evolve into a viable marketing medium. Increasingly...advertisers such as MTV are realizing its potential and working with us to incorporate mobile advertising into their multimedia promotions," Daren Tsui, co-founder and president of SkyGo, said in a statement.