PPCall Goes Offline With Jambo

According to a piece in MediaPost (reg. req’d), PPCall provider Jambo has announced that it will enable PPCall for LA Weekly:

The first slate of ads will be in the Feb. 9 issue, and will focus on Valentine’s Day services, including florists, spas, limos. The ads will be sold through Jambo’s own ad-selling platform.

So, you may ask, why is this a big deal? (It is.)

It’s PPCall in a newspaper (Village Voice Media owns several weeklies throughout the U.S.). If it works, expect to see the Voice expand the program in its other publications, which puts some pressure on other, traditional newspapers to try this (or it will at least start them thinking about it).

We have argued that one of the really exciting things (and scary to traditional publishers) about PPCall is that it’s a performance-based ad medium that can go anywhere in the offline/local world (outdoor, print, TV, etc.).

Verizon has said it will test PPCall in the print Yellow Pages in special "generic" category ads. But I wouldn’t expect other directory publishers to follow suit any time soon. There’s too much potential risk.

This Jambo deal has the potential to really take off and spread in the weekly newspaper world. It’s a differentiator in their battle with other media and the Internet to set their advertising apart. And it might also be a weapon in the broader newspaper battle with free classifieds.

I have been meaning for weeks to write about Jambo and workload has kept me from it.

Expect to now see PPCall start to penetrate the offlline/traditional media world more rapidly. In The Kelsey Group’s upcoming forecast we have performance-based advertising accounting for 10 percent of traditional "directional" ad revenues in 2010 (all of it call driven, obviously). In view of this deal, that might wind up being conservative.

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