A big idea from CBS
CBS just announced that they'll be offering free content downloads for your cell phone from billboards:
Because Bluetooth is a short-range wireless technology, users must stand within 36 feet of the billboard to access the video clips with their Bluetooth-enabled devices. The video clips are free. They are delivered over the wireless connection directly to the Bluetooth-enabled device without the need to use the mobile Internet, so consumers won't be charged by their carrier for data usage.
I have a love/hate relationship with Bluetooth - it's really cool, but it doesn't work as well as advertised. With that caveat, I think this is a really good idea.
It connects online content with the offline world.
It encourages widespread adoption of mobile video by letting users experience it for free.
And it gives a reasonable answer to the question I'm always asking, "why would I want to download on my mobile phone when I can stream content?"
That answer is geography. Allowing me to grab content at the precise moment I want it is a really good idea.
Go with me for a minute - scale the idea, and what do you have? People going about their day. When they get near the restaurant, they can download the menu and check it out. When they pass a movie theater, they can see a trailer. Drive past a house for sale? You can download the sales sheet and inspection info.
It's contextual ads for the real world... or at least it could be.