The mobile search and recommendation service Where announced today the launch of its new hyper-local mobile advertising network, Where Ads.
Where’s claim to fame is its immensely useful mobile application which goes by the same name. The app allows you to search for restaurants, entertainment, news, and more based on your location. It’s currently available for iPhone, Android, Palm WebOS, and Blackberry platforms.
Where Ads will allow the company to leverage its mobile platform further by offering targeted ads that benefit both businesses and users. For example, a hungry user searching for pizza in a new town will likely be tempted by a pizza restaurant’s ad that features a $5 off coupon. After the user clicks on the ad, they’re presented with a detailed page the offers reviews of the pizza place, directions on how to get there, and more.
If it functions as advertised, Where may have hit upon the perfect formula of mobile ads driven by location based services. Where Ads focus on offering users something they want at a very local level, and then follow that up by sending them to a simple landing page with all the information they need to get there.
Such an ad platform seems more “local” than competing mobile ad platforms AdMob (now owned by Google) and Quattro Wireless (owned by Apple, and also WHERE’s previous mobile ad supplier) — which have focused more on bringing traditional web advertising to the mobile environment. Where claims that Click Through Rates (the typical measuring stick for the effectiveness of an ad) on its ads have been up to three times as much as competing mobile ad platforms.
Where is a service of Boston-based uLocate Communications. The company has received funding from Kodiak Venture Partners, GrandBanks Capital, and Venrock.