BrandSpins acquires TONE Technology

BrandSpinsA year after the digital music distribution company BrandSpins acquired the music licensing giant, MusicDealers.com, they have released a new technology called ‘TONEprotocol,’ aimed at revolutionising the advertising industry. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

TONEprotocol, developed by TheToneKnows, Inc., works by embedding an imperceptible tone called a ‘TONE-Tag’ into any MusicDealers’ song used within television, radio, and streamed advertisements. The ‘Tone-Tag’ is an imperceptible audio beacon that converts this beacon to a “code” which can be deciphered by any smartphone. Once perceived by any mobile device, the ‘TONE-Tag’ will trigger a graphic ad which instantly appears on the listener’s mobile phone.

Beyond radio and TV, the audio beacon technology works in anything with sound including films, video games, as well as the retail environment. By installing TONE-emitting chips sets in retail stores and public spaces, coupons, ads, and promotions can be delivered to any smartphone within about 30 feet. This application of the technology could replace expensive and maintenance-intense bluetooth beacons and RFID-based systems.

Billy Tuchscher, CEO of BrandSpins and MusicDealers.com, said, “It is pretty impressive to be listening to a radio ad and magically have a coupon, flyer, or event ticket show up on your phone. The technology is solid, all the inventors needed was a music catalog, method of distribution, and big brand relationships. We have all that.”

USA, Las Vegas, NV & San Francisco, CA

Certain Acquires Gather Digital, Investing in the Next Generation of Mobile Event Applications

CertainCertain, the leader in enterprise event automation, today announced it has acquired Gather Digital, a mobile event application suite for enterprises, associations and educational institutions. With this acquisition, Certain is further strengthening its mobile development and data integration capabilities, taking advantage of the experience that Gather Digital’s extended team brings and offering customers unprecedented insight into the mobile journey to determine the event attendee’s true sentiments. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Gather Digital creates native and mobile web event applications with integrated personalized agendas, event content, live polling, surveys, continuing education credits, group meetings, lead retrieval and gamification. Gather Digital’s engagement apps allow the company’s clients to leverage mobile as a channel to capture intent throughout events, and build deeper relationships with their event attendees. Their customers include five of the world’s largest financial services companies, the nation’s leading pharmaceutical/ life science organization and premier technology and Fortune 1000 corporations. With the acquisition, Certain will continue to grow its U.S. presence and tap the North Carolina Research Triangle’s burgeoning tech hotbed for sales, marketing and product talent.

“Certain is focused on enabling our customers to gather the most relevant data from event attendees to drive better business results from events,” said Peter Micciche, CEO of Certain. “By acquiring Gather Digital and the impressive mobile capabilities the team has developed, we’re continuing to invest in our data strategy – and the people at the forefront of delivering innovative technology for world class enterprises.”

USA, San Francisco, CA & Chapel Hill, NC

Publicis Groupe acquires mobile agency Monterosa

PublicisPublicis Groupe has acquired global mobile agency Monterosa. The agency will report into Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

The move follows Publicis Groupe’s expansion into the mobile advertising market with its acquisition of Phonevalley in 2007. Like Phonevalley, Monterosa is exclusively committed to mobile marketing and communications.

Founded in 2009 by four Swedes – Johan Hemminger , Johan Ståhle, Anton Holmquist and Carl Norberg – Monterosa has offices in New York, Singapore and is headquartered in Stockholm. The agency’s 30-strong team works with some of the world’s biggest brands, including Carlsberg, Google, Mercedes Benz , Samsung and Vodafone. Award-winning work has included Mini Cooper’s ‘Getaway’ campaign (2011) and a number of global apps such as Buick Encore’s ‘Hide and Seek’ in China,  Lufthansa’s ‘Anywake’ in Scandinavia, AT&T’s ‘Daybreak’ in the US and the Pan-Asian Axe ‘Dare’ app for Unilever.

Monterosa will keep its name and the agency will work with its own clients as well as other advertising agency partners throughout BBH and Publicis Groupe. Carl Norberg , a co-founder of Monterosa, will continue to manage the agency and will report to BBH Group’s CEO, Gwyn Jones .

“The ubiquity and intimacy of smartphones make mobile campaigns an entirely new way to communicate with consumers,” said Gwyn Jones , CEO of BBH Group. “Mobile ads can be uniquely useful and pertinent – but they can also be perceived by consumers as disruptive. It’s vital that we help our clients develop campaigns that are not just technically seamless, but also friendly and relevant. We’ve been working with Monterosa for 18 months now. They have a great team, and a culture and approach that fit well with ours. We’re very excited about the potential for this strategically important move.”

France, Paris & Sweden, Stockholm

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