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Airtel announces advertising platform Airtel Ads; says doesn’t need to obtain user data


Airtel on Wednesday announced its own ad platform, Airtel Ads, in a virtual press conference. Terming its new product “powerful brand engagement solution”, the telco said that it would “curate consent based and privacy safe campaigns to one of the biggest pool[s] of quality customers in India”. The platform won’t have the scale or reach of established ad giants like Google or Facebook, and will be limited to Airtel’s own suite of apps, like Airtel Thanks and Wynk. “What truly differentiates Airtel Ads is its razor-sharp focus on quality over quantity and real impact vs vanity metrics,” Adarsh Nair, Chief Product Officer at Airtel said in a statement.

The company cited campaigns it had already run in a small scale with Pepsi and Apollo 24|7, claiming those campaigns led to conversion — where viewers actually bought product. Airtel said that the platform would have about “8 billion opportunities” to connect with customers. Airtel Ads doesn’t appear to be self-serve for the moment. Airtel said that its “rigorous compliance with ad-tracking standards and norms allows complete transparency with advertisers and ensures ZERO Ad Frauds in the form of false impressions and clicks.”

When asked about how Airtel obtained user data to target ads, Nair had this to say:

So one good thing is there is there is very little information we’re obtaining from from the user. Because there is a data set that Airtel is sitting with and we’re using that to help our consumers connect to Airtel’s products. That’s something we must do. So tomorrow, let’s say there is a young prepaid user who’s coming in and he’s buying a Rs 199 pack from us. And, you know, the consumer loves video. There could be a Rs 249 plan with Amazon Prime Video [bundled]. So we would want to tell the user about the offer, and ask if they would like to upgrade.

If the user wants it, with their consent, they can upgrade. It’s the same tech. That same idea is now being leveraged to help Cred connect to consumers who need Cred, or– Amazon Prime is now launching a new movie called Drishyam [2] in South of India. We would tell the Malayalam users about the movie. It’s that same idea. Obtaining data is something that Airtel does not need to do. [This is] unlike if I were a company outside Airtel, where I would have to obtain data.

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I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



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