What Have They Learned? Jamie Oliver, Round Two

Back in July, I wrote about a Jamie Oliver made-for-mobile series of recipe videos. I had two main points: first, there needed to be a mechanism for people that actually wanted to make the meals to get the recipe and ingredients; second, there was a hugely missed opportunity here for some company, like a supermarket, to sponsor the clips. It was announced today that a new set of videos will be made available on Vodafone’s 3G network — so what have they learned from the first installment?

The first series was supposed to include a facility for the recipe to be sent to the user via SMS at some point, and the producers’ site hasn’t changed to reflect whether or not this has actually happened. However, with the new service, the videos will cost 75p to watch, and a message with the recipe will be a further 75p. I’m glad to see the functionality is there, though I think the price is a bit high. I do, wonder, though, if consumers can just get the recipe without the video. For many people, that’s the real value, not the entertainment of watching a guy cook for three minutes. Users should also be able to get the recipe first, then order the video afterwards should they need it. But, I guess then there’s a chance they’d never watch the video and not spend the 75p. Typically backwards telco-think.

It still doesn’t appear that this content is sponsored — and it’s still a hugely missed opportunity. As Russell’s post earlier today (and Scott Shaffer’s excellent comment) say, there’s got to be a trade-off for mobile marketing. In exchange for placement on somebody’s mobile device, the advertiser has to offer something of value — real value — in exchange.

Think about the people watching these videos and especially getting the recipes: clearly they’re at the very least thinking of cooking something, so they’re in the market for ingredients. Why not charge them to watch the video, but have a supermarket sponsor the recipe message? In exchange for an ad on their mobile device, users get the recipe and ingredients list they want. The supermarket could even tack on a coupon for the ingredients to increase the possibility users would visit their store.

Here’s a perfect opportunity for permission mobile marketing, and it goes wanting.

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