WO2000077978A2 - Method for advertisers to provision advertisements sent to mobile wireless display devices - Google Patents

Method for advertisers to provision advertisements sent to mobile wireless display devices Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2000077978A2
WO2000077978A2 PCT/US2000/016467 US0016467W WO0077978A2 WO 2000077978 A2 WO2000077978 A2 WO 2000077978A2 US 0016467 W US0016467 W US 0016467W WO 0077978 A2 WO0077978 A2 WO 0077978A2
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
ad
mobile wireless
wireless display
delivery
display devices
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2000/016467
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
WO2000077978A8 (en
Inventor
Charles Boyle
David Tokunaga
John Fonte
Adam De Boor
Original Assignee
Geoworks Corporation
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US13899599P priority Critical
Priority to US60/138,995 priority
Priority to US38786099A priority
Priority to US09/387,860 priority
Application filed by Geoworks Corporation filed Critical Geoworks Corporation
Publication of WO2000077978A2 publication Critical patent/WO2000077978A2/en
Publication of WO2000077978A8 publication Critical patent/WO2000077978A8/en

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    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/02Marketing, e.g. market research and analysis, surveying, promotions, advertising, buyer profiling, customer management or rewards; Price estimation or determination

Abstract

An advertiser can provision advertisements for receipt on subscribers' mobile wireless display devices. In accordance with the invention, the advertiser may identify desired recipients for its advertisements based upon demographic and geographic characterization of the subscribers. Furthermore, the advertisers can select the days and times for delivery of their content, and the number of times that a subscriber should receive their advertisement in a unit time period. Accordingly, the advertiser is provided with the power to precisely target advertising to mobile wireless display devices.

Description

Method for Advertisers to Provision Advertisements Sent to Mobile Wireless Display Devices

NOTICE OF COPYRIGHTS AND TRADE DRESS

A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material that is

subject to copyright protection. This patent document may show and/or describe

matter that is or may become trade dress of the owner. The copyright and trade

dress owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by any one of the patent

disclosure, as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office patent files or records,

but otherwise reserves all copyright and trade dress rights whatsoever.

RELATED APPLICATION INFORMATION

This application is related to Application No. 09/057,394, entitled "Wireless

Communication Device With Markup Language Based Man-Machine Interface,"

and filed on April 8, 1998 by Adam de Boor and Michael D. Eggers, assigned to the

same assignee as the present application, which application is incoφorated herein by

reference.

This application is related to Application No. 09/075,405 entitled "Integrated

Advertising for Wireless Communication Devices With Rich Content and Direct

User Response Mechanism," and filed on May 8, 1998 by Adam de Boor and

Michael D. Eggers, assigned to the same assignee as the present application, which

application is incoφorated herein by reference.

This application is related to Application No. 60/138,994 entitled

"Subscriber Control of Advertisements Received on a Mobile Wireless Display

Device," and filed on June 14, 1999 by Charles Boyle, David Tokunaga, John Fonte, and Adam de Boor, assigned to the same assignee as the present application, which

application is incoφorated herein by reference.

This application is a continuation-in-part of Application No. 60/138,995

entitled "Provisioning by Advertisers of Advertisements Sent to Mobile Wireless

Display Devices," and filed on June 14, 1999 by Charles Boyle, David Tokunaga,

John Fonte, and Adam de Boor, assigned to the same assignee as the present

application, which application is incoφorated herein by reference.

This application is related to an application entitled "Method of Subscriber

Self-Selection of Advertisements Received on Their Mobile Wireless Display

Devices," and filed on August 31, 1999 by Charles Boyle, David Tokunaga, John

Fonte, and Adam de Boor, assigned to the same assignee as the present application,

which application is incoφorated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field Of The Invention

The present invention relates to user control of advertisements received on a

mobile wireless display device.

2. Description Of Related Art

Wireless communication devices are becoming increasingly prevalent for

personal communication needs. These devices include, for example, cellular

telephones, alphanumeric pagers, "palmtop" computers and personal information

managers (PIMs), and other small, primarily handheld communication and

computing devices. Wireless communication devices have matured considerably in

their features, and now support not only basic point-to-point communication

functions like telephone calling, but more advanced communications functions, such

as electronic mail, facsimile receipt and transmission, Internet access and Web

browsing and the like.

A subset of wireless communications devices can be considered "mobile

wireless display devices." These devices are able to receive transmissions from a

wireless service provider, and further include an alphanumeric display which can

display at least 12 characters. Mobile wireless display devices include smart phones,

alphanumeric pagers, and mobile phones having multiline displays, including many

cellular, PCS and satellite phones. It has also become common for PDAs and other

mobile information devices to include interfaces for wireless communication

reception and sometimes even transmission. Not only have small devices such as

PDAs been given more features, larger devices have shrunk. Thus, portable PCs, such as notebook computers, having wireless receivers and transceivers are

available. These, too, are mobile wireless display devices.

One of the current problems facing wireless service operators providing

cellular services on wireless communication devices is the delivery of electronic

advertising. Service operators desire to provide advertising directly on the wireless

communication device, as a way of garnering additional revenue or reaching

additional subscribers by allowing the service operator to charge the subscriber less,

making up the difference with advertising revenue.

Mobile wireless communications devices, however, are usually considered to

be very personal devices; subscribers are very sensitive about what is delivered to

their devices. Current advertising systems are fairly heavy-handed, and do not

include an element of self-selection in how they choose which advertisement to

provide in an advertising slot. Rather, they rely on coarse and inaccurate

mechanisms. For example, service providers run the risk of delivering an

advertisement for a competitor - potentially leading a subscriber to switch to a

different service provider. Furthermore, subscribers who are bombarded with

unwanted advertisements will either learn to disregard all ads, or will reduce their

use of the mobile wireless display device.

One of the current problems facing service operators providing cellular

services on wireless communication devices is the delivery of electronic advertising.

Service operators desire to provide advertising directly on the wireless

communication device, but the software architecture of conventional wireless

communication devices does not accommodate the direct integration of O 00/77978 _ PCT/USOO/l 6467 if advertisements into the user interface or the ability for the subscriber to directly

respond to an advertisement.

For example, one current method of electronic advertising is via a paging

service built into the messaging service operator's GSM cellular network.

Customers receive a "page" on their wireless communication device, the page being

a text message that contains the promotion and instructions for reaching a customer

service center to change to a new rate or service plan.

This method has a number of limitations. First, subscribers generally have a

low tolerance for advertising, but they like it even less when it interferes with their

use of their equipment. To be acceptable, advertisements must be displayed only

when the subscriber is not actively using the wireless communication device to

accomplish a task.

However, in the paging method the advertisements are very intrusive to the

subscriber. The messages are delivered to the subscriber's "in box" along with all

other paging messages. The subscriber must read through and delete the

advertisements in order to get to an important personal message. Undeleted

advertisements can "clog" the inbox (which can only hold a fixed number of

messages) preventing the delivery of important messages to the subscriber.

Second, the paging advertisements do not contain "rich" content. These

advertisements are subject to all the restrictions of the Short Messaging Service

(SMS), particularly a single font, no graphics, and no character styles such as

boldface or italic. It is nearly impossible to make such advertisements visually O 00/77978 , PCT/USOO/l 6467 appealing or eye-catching. This limitation reduces the value of the advertisements to

potential advertisers.

Third, it is important to enable a subscriber to respond immediately to an

advertisement in order to "sign up on the spot," for the simple reason that he may

lose interest while waiting for additional information to be downloaded to the

wireless communication device. A variety of back-channels are important, since

some advertisers will prefer to connect a potential customer directly to a sales agent,

while others would rather have an automated system that can log the request and

automatically start the service. (The latter is likely the case for information

services.)

However, the paging method has a very limited and primitive response

mechanism. All that the advertisement can do is supply a telephone number that the

subscriber must manually dial, or supply other instructions to be followed by the

subscriber at his initiative. Further, because the subscriber must initiate and make

the telephone call, the subscriber is responsible for explaining the puφose of the call

and acquiring the advertised service. The customer service center receives no

information other than that provided by the subscriber.

A related type of electronic advertising is found on the World Wide Web.

Most commercial pages on the World Wide Web contain a small "banner"

advertisement at the top to generate additional income to the content provider. Web

banner advertisements are typically animated images that transfer the user to another

Web site when clicked upon with the mouse. This approach is inadequate for

wireless communication devices for a number of reasons. Web banner advertisements of this type are too expensive to transmit via data

channels on cellular networks. Web banner advertisements are typically large

animated graphic images, and data transmission over cellular networks is either

expensive (involving making a data phone call, which results in the normal air-time

charges) or slow (SMS is inexpensive, but each message can only transmit 140

octets characters of information).

Second, the size of the screen display on a typical wireless communication

device is too small for a Web banner advertisement and other content to fit on a

single screen. With graphical screens on wireless communication devices being

generally 25x37 mm, there is insufficient area to incoφorate advertising with normal

screen content of the user interface of the device.

Third, conventional Web banner advertisements also have a very limited

response mechanism. Conventional Web banner advertisements merely transfer the

user to a special advertising page hosted by a provider of the advertisement. This

system is not useful for wireless communication devices because of the inherent

latency and low bandwidth of the transmission medium. It is impractical to force the

subscriber to wait for up to half a minute for an advertising page to be downloaded.

In addition, conventional banner advertisements generally do not collect enough

information to form a complete transaction.

Related to banner advertisements are screen-saver based advertisements

found on desktop computers. In this approach, a screen saver can display

advertising while the computer is idle. Screen saver advertisements are very similar to Web banner advertisements, and suffer from exactly the same problems when

applied to wireless communication devices.

Current advertising systems do not include an element of self-selection in

how they choose which advertisement to provide in an advertising slot. They

generally fall into three types: billboard, channel, and personalized. In the billboard

system, whoever bought the slot gets their advertisement there. In the channel

system, an advertisement appropriate to the demographic associated with the content

around the advertising slot (e.g. TV show, magazine, web page) is chosen. In the

personalized system, the system infers interest on the basis of ongoing, personal

monitoring of the viewer's behavior (topic searches, subscriptions, email,

travel/location) or subscriber-entered demographic data, and delivers an

advertisement based on that inference. Although all three types provide some

measure of targeting, none is adequate to solve the needs of wireless service

providers.

Advertisers find it desirable to target advertisements to relevant potential

customers. For example, an advertiser of motor oil would prefer to target car owners

with its advertising. A Boston restaurant would prefer to target residents of Boston

and business travelers rather than children living in San Francisco. Moreover,

advertisers prefer to pay for advertising based upon the number of relevant

consumers who are actually exposed to the advertisement. For typical advertising

media, it is often difficult for an advertiser to precisely determine whether its

advertisements were actually viewed by a subscriber and for how long, and whether

the advertisement induced a response. Accordingly, there exists a need for a O 00/77978 n PCT/USOO/l 6467 targeted advertisement system that also can provide information as to the

characteristics of those who were exposed to each advertisement, for how long the

subscriber was exposed, and at what times.

O 00/77978 Q PCT/USOO/l 6467

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention, an advertiser can provision

advertisements for receipt on subscribers' mobile wireless display devices. In

accordance with the invention, the advertiser may identify desired recipients for its

advertisements based upon demographic and geographic characterization (fixed

address as well as their current location, and whether they are in motion) of the

subscribers. Furthermore, the advertisers can select the days and times for delivery

of their content, and the number of times that a subscriber should receive their

advertisement in a unit time period. Accordingly, the advertiser is provided with the

power to precisely target advertising to mobile wireless display devices.

Still further objects and advantages attaching to the system and to its use and

operation will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the following particular

description.

WO 00/77978 PCT/USOO/l 6467

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further objects of this invention, together with additional features

contributing thereto and advantages accruing therefrom, will be apparent from the

following description of a preferred embodiment of the present invention which is

shown in the accompanying drawings with like reference numerals indicating

corresponding parts throughout and which is to be read in conjunction with the

following drawings, wherein:

Figure 1 is a first block diagram of a network data distribution system in

accordance with the invention.

Figure 2 is a frontal plan view of a mobile wireless display device in

accordance with the present invention.

Figure 3 is a frontal plan view of a mobile wireless display device in

accordance with the invention.

Figure 4 is a flow diagram of a method of provisioning by advertisers of

advertisements sent to mobile wireless display devices in accordance with the

invention.

Figure 5 is a flow diagram of a method of subscriber registration in

accordance with the invention.

Figure 6 is a flow chart of a method of preference setting in accordance with

the invention. 19-

Figure 7 is a flow chart of a method of selecting advertisements in

accordance with the invention.

Figures 8A and 8B are views of database objects of a subscriber database in

accordance with the invention.

These and additional embodiments of the invention may now be better

understood by turning to the following detailed description wherein an illustrated

embodiment is described.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Throughout this description, the preferred embodiment and examples shown

should be considered as exemplars, rather than limitations on the apparatus and

methods of the present invention.

The System of the Invention

The system of the invention enables ads to be sent to mobile wireless display

devices based upon: a subscriber's personal profile information; the scheduling

requirements of the ads; and the demographic, target behavior profile, or subscriber

location requirements of the ads.

As used herein, an "ad" is an advertisement or promotion. An "ad message"

means a discrete communication sent in a communications channel. Whereas "ad

message" relates to the transmission process, "ad content" relates to the information

conveyed by the ad message. Ad content includes a visual component, such as text

or graphics, and may also include audio, video and / or other physical feedback. Ad

messages are not sent in real time, so although the recipient of an ad message may

respond directly to its corresponding ad content, neither the ad content nor the

response are sensitive to delays. Of course, at some point, the delays may impact the

effect of the ad content or the response, notably because the ad or the response may

get "stale." However, the underlying transport is not sensitive to delays.

Referring now to Figure 1 , there is shown a block diagram of an ad message

distribution system in accordance with the invention. Figure 1 includes a local

device 100, a data access network 120, an ad server 130 (more properly, an ad O 00/77978 , PCT/USOO/l 6467 l¥ message server), a gateway 140, a radio tower 145 and a mobile wireless display

device 150.

The local device 100 preferably comprises a client computer which is

configured to access the ad server 130 via the data access network 120. The client

computer may be, for example, a PC running a Microsoft Windows operating

system. The local device 100 preferably includes an output device, such as display

101, and an input device, such as keyboard 102 and / or pointing device 103 (e.g.,

mouse, track ball, light pen, or data glove). The local device 100 may also be, for

example, an Internet appliance, network computer (NC), or an appropriately

Internet-enabled device such as a portable digital assistant (PDA), mobile phone,

refrigerator, etc. The particular type of device of the local device 100 is not

considered to be important so long as the local device 100 can provide some

measure of individual subscriber interactivity with an online service. Nor is it

required that the local device 100 be different from the mobile wireless display

device 150; they may be one and the same. Although not shown, other devices such

as web servers may also be connected to the data access network 120 and be

accessible from the local device 100. A browser application, such as Microsoft

Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator is preferably installed on the local device

100.

The data access network 120 provides lower layer network support for the

local device 100 to interact with the ad server 130. The data access network 120

preferably comprises a common or private bi-directional telecommunications

network (e.g., a public switched telephone network (PSTN), a cable-based O 00/77978 ^ PCT/USOO/l 6467 telecommunication network, a LAN, a WAN, a wireless network), coupled with or

overlaid by a TCP/IP network (e.g., the Internet or an intranet). TCP/IP, however, is

not a requirement of the present invention.

The gateway 140 is preferably a server and associated devices which

interface the data access network 120 to the radio transmitter 145, as known in the

art. The gateway 140 is preferably part of a network operations center. Figure 1

shows the ad server 130 and the gateway 140 communicating through the data

access network 120. Alternatively, the ad server 130 and the gateway 140 may be

connected through a network which is separate from the data access network 120, or

could be connected directly, such as within a service operator's facilities. In these

alternatives, the ad server 130 might also be a part of the network operations center.

The radio tower 145 may be terrestrial or airborne.

The gateway 140 preferably also has tracking capabilities. That is, in the

manner known in the art, the location of a subscriber's mobile wireless display

device is known to the gateway 140, or the gateway 140 can obtain this information

from the service provider's network information center. Depending on the type of

mobile wireless display device and the service provider, the precision of the location

information varies. Furthermore, some service providers may be unable to

determine the location information. Since mobile wireless display devices are

mobile, the gateway 140 preferably can locate the mobile wireless display devices as

they move. To the extent that the gateway 140 can obtain subscriber location

information, the gateway 140 preferably provides this information to the ad server WO 00/77978 „ PCT/USOO/l 6467

130. Whether a mobile wireless display device is stationary or moving can also be

determined within a reasonable margin of error.

The ad server 130 preferably is a computer system, such as a server

computer. Alternatively, the ad server 130 may be considered to represent a number

of physical devices which as a group provide the indicated network services. The ad

server 130 acts as a recipient of certain information transmitted by the local device

100, as described further below. The ad server 130 preferably also transmits certain

data to the mobile wireless display device 150 as described further below.

Although only one local device and one mobile wireless display device are

shown in Figure 1 , the system of the invention contemplates any number of these

devices.

Referring now to Figure 2, there is shown an enlarged view of the mobile

wireless display device 150. The mobile wireless display device shown is a cellular

phone, although it will be appreciated that other mobile wireless display devices,

such as PCS phones, pagers, PDAs enabled with wireless communications

capabilities, and satellite-based phones are also with the scope of the invention.

Indeed, the mobile wireless display device 150 may actually consist of two devices

linked together: one interfacing to the wireless communications network, and the

other serving to display the ad content.

The mobile wireless display device 150 is shown having a display 200

which is logically divided into a status bar 210, a title bar 220 and a content area

250. The status bar 210 is preferably always present and displays items such as

signal strength 211, battery strength 212, and message-waiting indicator 213. A WO 00/77978 [ ry PCT/USOO/l 6467 mode indicator 214 may also be included to indicate the mode for text entry,

whether alpha, numeric, or a combined alphanumeric mode.

The title bar 220 preferably displays an identification of the content in the

content area 250. For example, the title bar 220 might display "Promo" for a

promotion or advertisement in the content area 250, "Phone Book" if the content

area 250 is being used to show phone book entries, or "Dialing" if the phone is

dialing a number.

The content area 250 is used to display the particular content of a user

interface page, for example, text of a message, phone book entries, advertisements,

phone numbers being dialed and the like. In the content area 250, a focus and

selection icon may optionally be used to indicate the particular item or line of

content that has the focus, i.e. is the current user interface gadget or input field.

Figure 3 shows the mobile wireless display device 150 with a graphical

advertisement. The advertisement of Figure 3 covers the title area 220, and includes

soft key labels 255 along the bottom of the content area 250 (though other locations

may be used).

Any of the pages or content displayed on the screen display 200 may be

obtained locally or remotely, such as from the Internet or World Wide Web.

Examples of local content include advertisements, a telephone book, received text

messages, and the like.

The ad content and portions thereof (e.g., objects) may be delivered to the

mobile wireless display device 150 in many ways. For example, ad content may be ιe> delivered to a mobile wireless display device at a first point in time and stored, and

ad messages sent later to the mobile wireless display device would cause the ad

content to be conveyed to the subscriber. Thus, batches of ad content may be

delivered to a mobile wireless display device at a time which is lower in cost or

when there is less wireless traffic. Furthermore, some aspects of the ad content may

be delivered using fixed communications means (e.g., wireline), and also activated

by ad messages.

In most embodiments, the mobile wireless display device 150 will have at

least some displayable objects, and signals from the ad server 130 cause these

objects to be displayed in the content area 250 (Figure 2). For example, characters

of the alphabet may be pre-stored in the mobile wireless display device 150 during

its manufacture, and signals sent to the mobile wireless display device 150 would

identify the characters forming the ad content to be displayed. Displays may also be

generated through a combination of pre-stored and transmitted objects.

The ad content is preferably formatted to be compatible with a wide range of

mobile wireless display devices. In general, a text-only message of less than 100

characters will be compatible with a majority of current mobile wireless display

devices. In one embodiment, the GSM Short Message Service is utilized. Each

advertisement preferably contains no more than one discount, and an expiration date.

The expiration date is used to create a sense of urgency to the subscriber. Limiting

an ad to a single discount is desirable to avoid clutter. Since most mobile wireless

communication devices have a small display, the limited space should be used for

maximum impact. Furthermore, because many mobile wireless display devices are WO 00/77978 - PCT/USOO/l 6467 used by subscribers during other activities such as while driving, the intrusiveness

and scope of distraction of the message should be moderated.

Several ways to redeem an ad are possible. Preferably, redemption also

provides the advertisers and service providers a way to track transactions and the

associated revenue. For mobile phones, a phone number or promotion code are the

preferred bases for redemption. With a phone number, the subscriber can call a

phone number especially designated by the advertiser or the service provider.

Telephone-based redemption also permits the subscriber to find local outlets of the

advertisers' businesses, and to receive additional information from the advertisers.

With a promotion code, the subscriber contacts the advertiser either in person, by

phone or electronically to receive the benefit of the ad. Some smart phones support

soft keys, and a one-touch smart key may be included in the ad content for

redemption. Similar capabilities may be provided in two-way pagers.

The Method of the Invention

Referring now to Figure 4, there is shown a block diagram of the ad server

130 and how the ad server 130 allows advertisers to provision advertisements in

accordance with the invention. The method of the invention has four basic

processes: an advertiser registration process 450, an ad registration process 460 and

an ad selection process 470. These processes 450, 460, 470 operate in conjunction

with a database 410 maintained by the ad server 130. In the advertiser registration

process 450, an advertiser provides identifying information to the ad server 130. In

the advertisement registration process 460, the advertiser identifies to the server the

ad content, and the advertiser provides targeting information with respect to that ad O 00/77978 Λ PCT/USOO/l 6467 content. The advertiser also selects times for delivery of its registered ad content

and delivery intervals. In the ad selection process 470, the ad server 130 correlates

the ad targeting criteria against subscriber information and selects ad content for

delivery to the subscribers. The method preferably further includes an advertisement

transmission process 490. In this process 490, the ad server 130 causes the gateway

140 to transmit ad messages for the ad content selected in the ad selection process

470 to the selected subscribers. The ad messages are preferably transmitted to the

subscriber's mobile wireless display device individually, but may also be transmitted

in batch.

The database 410 is preferably relational, comprising tables, the tables

comprising rows, in the manner known in the art. Figures 8A and 8B present a view

of preferred objects in the database 410. Bold fields constitute the primary key for

the table, identifying a row, and therefore must contain data for every row. Italic

fields are "not null" and must contain data for every data row. Fields with an

asterisk (*) are generated within an automatic sequence to be unique for every row.

This view is just one way of embodying the database 410, and others are within the

scope of the invention. Three user tables 905, 910, 915 include information about

subscribers. The ad server 130 preferably creates a record in each of these tables

905, 910, 915 for each subscriber.

The User_validation table 905 is used for login information. The

User_validation table includes a Username field 905a, a Login_type field 905b, a

Password fιeld905c and a Deleted field 905d. O 00/77978 « # PCT/USOO/l 6467

The User_variable table 910 holds subscriber (or service) related variables

that are not defined elsewhere. The User_variable table 910 includes a Username

field 910a, a Name field 910b and Value field 910c. The Name field 910b stores a

variable name, and the Value field 910c stores a value for the variable name in the

Name field 910b for the user identified in the Username field 910a.

The User_info table 915 holds information collected about the subscriber,

including the subscriber's personal profile. The User_info table includes a

Username field 915a, a Family_name 915b field, a Given name field 915c, a Gender

field 915d, a Birthdate field 915e, an Operator field 915f, a TargetNo field 915g, a

TargetNo_pin field 915h, a Timezone field 915i, a VoiceNo field 915j, a FaxNo

field 915k, a MobileNo field 9151, an Email field 915m, an Address field 915n, a

City field 915o, a Postalcode field 915p, a Country field 915q, a Region 915r field, a

Demographic field 915s, a Company field 915t, a Title field 915u, an Occupation

field 915v, a Marital status field 915w, a Household field 915x, a Hobbies field

915y and an Updated field 915z. The ad server 130 preferably creates

User validation, User_variable, and User_info records for each subscriber.

A Request_log table 920 and a Session log table 925 store basic logging and

reporting information. The Request log table 920 includes a Username field 910a, a

Time field 910b, a Success field 910c, a Channel_name field 910d and a Name field

910e. The Session og table 925 includes a Username field 925a, a Starttime field

925b and an Endtime field 925c. Advanced reporting can be achieved through joins

with other tables or through creation of additional table structures. A Deliver table 930 holds the delivery preferences for each subscriber, and

includes a Reg_id field 930a, a Username field 930b, a Send days field 930c, a

Send_times field 930d, an Ads_received field 930e, an Enabled field 930f, and a

Max_promos field 930. The Send_days field 930c and the Send_time field 930d

store the days and times, respectively, at which to deliver ads. The Ads__received

field 93 Oe stores the maximum number of advertisements to deliver in a given time

period.

A Deliver category table 935 is linked to the Deliver table 930 to indicate

the advertisement categories that are acceptable to the subscriber. The

Deliver_category table 935 includes a Reg_id field 935a and a Category field 935b.

A Promoter table 950 includes information about each organization which

desires to have content-area advertisements and promotions transmitted to

subscribers. The Promoter table 950 includes a Name field 950a, a Password id field

950b, an Address 950c field, a PhoneNo field 950d, an Email field 950e, an

Updatedfield 950f, a City field 950g, a State field 950h, a Postalcode field 950i, a

Country field 950j, a Faxno field 950k and a Comments field 9501.

A Product table 955 includes information about products the promoter

wishes to promote. The Product table 955 includes a Name field 955a, a

Promoter_name field 955b, a Logo filename field 955c, a Logo_binary field 955d, a

Logo_binary_type field 955e, a Toplist field 955f and an Updated field 955g. Thus,

the Product table 955 includes logos and other information that can be displayed to

the user in association with the promotion. O 00/77978 .__ PCT/USOO/l 6467

A Promotion table 960 includes information about the advertisements and

promotions. The Promotion table includes an Id field 960a, a Product_name field

960b, a Promoter name field 960c, a Leadline field 960d, a Text field 960e, a

Text ype field 960f, a Code field 960g, a Number sent field 960h, a Startdate field

960i, an Expiredate field 960j, a Max_usage field 960k, a Region field 9601, a

Graphics dir field 960m, a Valid_days field 960n, an Updated field 960o and a

Demographics field 960p.

A Promo category table 965 associates each ad with one or more categories.

The Promo_category table 965 includes an Id field 965a and a Category field 965b.

Each advertiser may have one or more ads for each of one or more products.

Each ad in turn may be associated with one or more categories. The categories form

a hierarchy, which is defined in a Category_parent_child table 970 . The record of

which ads have been sent to which subscribers is kept in a Promo_log 975 table.

The Promo_log table 975 includes an Id field 975a, a Username field 975b, a

Time_sent field 975c and a Send_count field 975d.

Referring now to Figure 5, there is shown a flow diagram of the advertiser

registration process 450. Preferably, registration is performed by the advertiser

online, and mo re preferably using the Web. Advertisers may also be registered

through third parties, and through automated proxies. In the first step of the

preferred embodiment, the connects his local device 100 to the Web (step 510).

Next the advertiser activates his browser (step 515). Then, the advertiser points his

browser to the ad server 130 (step 520). The ad server 130 preferably includes a O 00/77978 , PCT/USOO/l 6467 facility for the advertiser to identify himself, preferably through a login process

which can be automated (step 525).

In the login process (step 525), the ad server 130 necessarily treats a new

advertiser differently than an existing advertiser (step 530). New advertisers are

asked to enter contact and other information for the Promoter table 950 (step 535).

The ad server 130 preferably provides an existing advertiser with the ability to revise

their Promoter records (step 540), such as through appropriate Web pages.

Referring now to Figure 6, there is shown a flow chart of the advertisement

registration process (step 460). Three things happen in the ad registration process.

During ad registration, various information is gathered and preferably stored in the

Product table 955 and the Promotion table 960. Assuming that the advertiser has

already logged on to the ad server 130 as described above, the ad server 130 displays

one or more pages in which the advertiser can create, edit and delete Product and

Promotion records. The ad server 130 preferably permits the advertisers to edit and

delete their respective Product and Promotion records.

One of the events in the ad registration process is that the advertiser provides

information to the ad server 130 about the ad content (step 615). The ad content

itself must be made available to the ad server 130, either by storing the ad content

itself in the ad server 130 (e.g., in Text field 960e), by providing an address for the

ad content (e.g., a URL), or by identifying a server which will produce or identify

the ad content when needed.

The ad server 130 preferably associates each ad with one or more of the

categories in the Category table 965 (step 625). The ad server 130 preferably allows advertisers to specify the categories for which their ad content is appropriate,

although this could be performed by the ad server 130 automatically. Advertiser

names and advertiser categories may be expressed as identifiers, strings, some

arbitrary token, or other means. The categories are preferably: apparel (clothing,

accessories, etc.), automobiles, dining, electronics / computers / Internet,

entertainment / movies / music / books, gifts (flowers, chocolates, etc.), health &

beauty, home & garden, and travel.

Another of the events in the ad registration process is that the advertiser

provides information to the ad server 130 about how the ad content should be

targeted (step 620). In accordance with the invention, advertisers can target their ad

content based upon many different types of subscriber characteristics, such as

demographics, psychographics and geographies. The targeting can be based upon

static information and dynamic information about each subscriber, and this can be

either quantitative or qualitative information about each subscriber. Static

quantitative information includes gender, birthdate, service provider, income, job

title, occupation, industry, home address, work address, marital status and hobbies.

Dynamic quantitative information includes the subscriber's current location, and

whether the subscriber is moving.

Furthermore, the advertisers preferably can target ad content based upon

quantitative and qualities analysis of the subscribers. Because the ad server 130

preferably records which ad content each subscriber has been sent and which ad

content each subscriber responded to, the ad server 130 can extract psychographic

information about the subscribers. The characteristics of previously delivered ads, WO 00/77978 PCT/USOO/l 6467 and when a subscriber has responded to those ads, are useful in predicting which

kinds of ads are more likely to be successful for a given subscriber. For example, a

particular subscriber may be more responsive to ads for food than for clothing, or a

particular subscriber may be more responsive to giveaways than to ads for discounts.

Psycho graphic information about subscribers' use of their mobile wireless

display device is also useful. This psychographic information may include the

regions that a subscriber calls, the length of calls, even the identity of the called

party. The gateway 140 can provide the ad server 130 with call data records which

can be used to derive this information. For example, subscribers who frequently call

a certain distant city could be targeted with travel ads, and subscribers who call a

particular kind of restaurant could be targeted with ads for similar restaurants. Other

psychographic information may also be obtained about the subscribers from other

sources, and used alone or in conjunction with the subscriber information already

stored by the ad server 130. All of this information preferably can be used by the

advertisers for improved targeting of their ads.

Another of the events in the ad registration process is that the advertiser

provides information to the ad server 130 about when the ad content should be

delivered (step 625). The Promotion record preferably includes fields through which

the advertiser specifies when the ad server 130 may cause an ad message for the

advertiser's ad content to be transmitted to subscribers (or for the ad content to be

displayed, depending on the transport mechanism). Furthermore, the Promotion

record preferably includes fields in which the advertiser species the period for the ad's run, and the interval between transmissions of the ad to a given type of

subscriber.

Preferably as part of step 620, the advertiser can control when and how

frequently users will see the ads. The frequency is preferably expressed in terms of

number of views per a unit period, preferably expressed as number of views of the

ad content per week. The advertiser preferably can also select days of the week and

times of day for subscribers to see their ad content. For example, a vendor of

gourmet coffee may wish to send ad messages to a first group of subscribers on

weekday mornings. The same vendor may wish to send the same ad message to a

second group of subscribers in the evening. This step 620 permits the advertiser to

select an ad delivery schedule which increases the ads' effectiveness. The ad server

130 stores these criteria in the database 410.

In addition to creating and updating the advertiser's profile and ad records,

the ad server 130 preferably includes web pages through which the advertiser can

review information about the transmission of their ads, both detail records and

statistics.

Referring now to Figure 7, there is shown a flow chart of the advertisement

selection process 470. When it is time to select an advertisement to deliver to a given

subscriber (step 705), the ad server 130 uses the Promotion table 960,

Promo_category table 965, Deliver table 930, Deliver_category table 935, User_info

table 915, User variable table 910, and User_validation table 905 to identify the

advertisements that are compatible with the subscriber's preferences. Specifically,

the rows in the Promotion table 960, for which there are rows in the Promo_category O 00/77978 ΛΛ PCT/USOO/l 6467 table 965 with the same ID whose Category field matches the Category field of one

of the rows in the Deliver_category table 935 with the same Reg_id field as the row

in the Deliver table 930 for the subscriber, and for which the contents of the

Demographics field match the various fields in the subscriber's row in the Userjnfo

table 915, and for which the current date and time fall within the parameters set by

the Startdate, Expiredate, and Intervals fields, are the ads that are considered for

transmission (step 710).

If more than one ad fits these criteria (step 715), the ad server 130 selects an

ad arbitrarily (step 720), but may also include such criteria as limiting the number of

times a particular ad may be seen by the subscriber, advertisement priority, or other

unspecified criteria. Furthermore, the pool of matches may be further limited based

upon best-fit criteria.

The advertisement selection process then passes the selected ad to the

advertisement transmission process 490, in which selected ad content is delivered to

the targeted mobile wireless display devices. Once the ad message has been

dispatched, the ad server 130 increments the Ads received field 930e of the

subscriber's record. It should be appreciated that the meaning of "delivery" of ad

content can vary depending on the embodiment.

Depending on the type of mobile wireless display device, the relationship

between the ad server 130 and the gateway 140, and how much control the

subscribers have over their mobile wireless display devices, the particular steps in

delivering ad content will vary. For example, if a targeted subscriber's mobile

wireless display device is powered off or out of the service area, then the gateway O 00/77978 _ PCT/USOO/l 6467 might (a) send an ad message for provisioned ad content anyhow because the

gateway 140 does not know that the mobile wireless display device is unavailable,

(b) queue and send the ad message when the mobile wireless display becomes

available, (c) continually check for availability of the mobile wireless display device

until the provisioned ad content's delivery time has expired, or (d) omit delivering

the provisioned ad content entirely.

Consider too how the mobile wireless display will react to receipt of an ad

message. In some embodiments, the mobile wireless display device immediately

displays the respective ad content. In other embodiments, the mobile wireless

display device generates an alert that the ad content is available, and waits for the

subscriber to request display of the ad content. In yet other embodiments, the ad

message might be transmitted in advanced of when the respective ad content is to be

displayed, and the ad message includes an indication of when the respective ad

content is to be displayed or some events in the mobile wireless display device

which triggers the display of the ad content.

Preferably, ad messages may be dispatched without delay. This is useful for

ad targeting which is time sensitive, such as for current location and time of day.

This may entail skipping the ad selection process 470, or providing a "fast track"

through that process.

Although exemplary embodiments of the present invention have been shown

and described, it will be apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art that a

number of changes, modifications, or alterations to the invention as described herein

may be made, none of which departs from the spirit of the present invention. All such changes, modifications and alterations should therefore be seen as within the

scope of the present invention.

Claims

CLAIMSIt is claimed:
1. A method of provisioning ad content for delivery to mobile wireless display
devices, the mobile wireless display devices used by respective subscribers of a
wireless service, the method comprising the steps of:
(a) an advertiser registration step comprising an advertiser providing
profile information about the advertiser to an ad server, and the ad server storing the
profile information in a database;
(b) an ad registration step comprising the advertiser identifying an item
of ad content to the ad server, and the ad server storing the identification of the item
of ad content in the database;
(c) an ad targeting step comprising the advertiser identifying targeting
criteria to the ad server, and the ad server storing the targeting criteria in the
database, wherein the targeting criteria comprises characteristics of one or more
subscribers of the wireless service to whom the advertiser wishes to direct the item
of ad content;
(d) an ad scheduling step comprising the advertiser selecting acceptable
times for delivery of the item of ad content, and the ad server storing the acceptable
times in the database;
(e) an ad selection step comprising the ad server correlating the targeting
criteria in the database and the acceptable times in the database for the item of ad content against information about the subscribers in the database to thereby identify
at least one subscriber for delivery of the item of ad content;
(f) an ad transmission step comprising the ad server causing an ad
message to be sent to the identified at least one subscriber in accordance with the
acceptable times selected in the ad scheduling step, the ad message for causing the
item of ad content to be viewable on the mobile wireless display devices of the
identified at least one subscriber.
2. The method of provisioning ad content for delivery to mobile wireless
display devices as set forth in claim 1, the ad scheduling step further comprising the
advertiser selecting a number of times for delivery of the item of ad content to the
subscriber in a unit time period.
3. The method of provisioning ad content for delivery to mobile wireless
display devices as set forth in claim 1, in the ad scheduling step, the times for
delivery of the item of ad content being based upon subscribers' psychographic
qualities.
4. The method of provisioning ad content for delivery to mobile wireless
display devices as set forth in claim 1, further comprising the ad server tracking
responses by the identified at least one subscriber to the delivered item of ad content,
the ad server preparing a report summarizing the responses, and the advertiser
reviewing the report.
5. The method of provisioning ad content for delivery to mobile wireless
display devices as set forth in claim 1, in the ad scheduling step, selecting acceptable O 00/77978 ,, PCT/USOO/l 6467 times for delivery of the ad content item based upon responses to previously
delivered ad content.
6. The method of provisioning ad content for delivery to mobile wireless
display devices as set forth in claim 1 , in the ad scheduling step, the acceptable times
comprising time of day.
7. The method of provisioning ad content for delivery to mobile wireless
display devices as set forth in claim 1, in the ad scheduling step, the acceptable times
comprising day of the week.
8. The method of provisioning ad content for delivery to mobile wireless
display devices as set forth in claim 1, in the ad scheduling step, the acceptable times
comprising day of the year.
9. The method of provisioning ad content for delivery to mobile wireless
display devices as set forth in claim 1, in the ad scheduling step, the acceptable times
comprising day of the month.
10. A method of provisioning ad content for delivery to mobile wireless display
devices, the mobile wireless display devices used by respective subscribers of a
wireless service, the method comprising the steps of:
(a) an advertiser registration step comprising an advertiser providing
profile information about the advertiser to an ad server, and the ad server storing the
profile information;
(b) an ad registration step comprising the advertiser identifying an item
of ad content to the ad server, and the ad server storing the identification; O 00/77978 _ PCT/USOO/l 6467 (c) an ad targeting step comprising the advertiser identifying targeting
criteria to the ad server, and the ad server storing the targeting criteria, the ad
targeting criteria comprising characteristics of one or more subscribers of the
wireless service;
(d) an ad selection step comprising the ad server correlating the targeting
criteria against information about the subscribers to thereby identify at least one
subscriber for delivery of the ad content.
11. The method of provisioning ad content for delivery to mobile wireless
display devices as set forth in claim 10,
in the ad targeting step, the characteristics comprising a desired location of a
subscriber's mobile wireless display device;
in the ad selection step, the correlation including a test of whether a given
subscriber's mobile wireless display device is in the desired location.
12. The method of provisioning ad content for delivery to mobile wireless
display devices as set forth in claim 11, wherein the desired location comprises a
geographic region.
13. The method of provisioning ad content for delivery to mobile wireless
display devices as set forth in claim 11 , wherein the desired location comprises a
region defined by a postal code.
14. The method of provisioning ad content for delivery to mobile wireless
display devices as set forth in claim 11 , wherein the desired location comprises a
politically defined region.
O 00/77978 ,„ - PCT/USOO/l 6467 15. The method of provisioning ad content for delivery to mobile wireless
display devices as set forth in claim 10,
in the ad targeting step, the characteristics comprising a demographic quality;
in the ad selection step, the correlation including a test of whether a given
subscriber has the demographic quality.
16. The method of provisioning ad content for delivery to mobile wireless
display devices as set forth in claim 15, wherein the demographic quality is selected
from the group of: gender, birth date, service provider, income, job title, occupation,
industry, marital status and hobbies.
17. The method of provisioning ad content for delivery to mobile wireless
display devices as set forth in claim 10,
in the ad targeting step, the characteristics comprising a geographic quality;
in the ad selection step, the correlation including a test of whether a given
subscriber has the geographic quality.
18. The method of provisioning ad content for delivery to mobile wireless
display devices as set forth in claim 17, wherein the geographic quality is selected
from the group of: home address, work address, current location and whether the
mobile wireless display device is moving.
19. The method of provisioning ad content for delivery to mobile wireless
display devices as set forth in claim 10 further comprising an advertisement
transmission step comprising the ad server causing an ad message to be sent to the
identified at least one subscriber, the ad message for causing the item of ad content to be viewable on the mobile wireless display devices of the identified at least one
subscriber.
20. The method of provisioning ad content for delivery to mobile wireless
display devices as set forth in claim 10,
in the ad targeting step, the characteristics comprising a psychographic
quality;
in the ad selection step, the correlation including a test of whether a given
subscriber has the psychographic quality.
21. The method of provisioning ad content for delivery to mobile wireless
display devices as set forth in claim 20, wherein the psychographic quality is
selected from the group of: the regions that a subscriber calls, the length of calls, and
the identity of called parties.
22. The method of provisioning ad content for delivery to mobile wireless
display devices as set forth in claim 20, wherein the psychographic information
includes subscribers' ad redemption characteristics.
23. The method of provisioning ad content for delivery to mobile wireless
display devices as set forth in claim 22, wherein the ad redemption characteristics
include when the subscribers redeem ads.
24. The method of provisioning ad content for delivery to mobile wireless
display devices as set forth in claim 10 further comprising the ad server tracking
responses by the selected subscribers to the delivered item of ad content, the ad O 00/77978 PCT/USOO/l 6467 server preparing a report summarizing the responses, and the advertiser reviewing
the report.
25. The method of provisioning ad content for delivery to mobile wireless
display devices as set forth in claim 24, in the ad targeting step, selecting targeting
criteria based upon responses to previously delivered ad content.
PCT/US2000/016467 1999-06-14 2000-06-13 Method for advertisers to provision advertisements sent to mobile wireless display devices WO2000077978A2 (en)

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US13899599P true 1999-06-14 1999-06-14
US60/138,995 1999-06-14
US38786099A true 1999-09-01 1999-09-01
US09/387,860 1999-09-01

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