Will Advertisers Pay to Become SugarMamas?

Virgin Mobile recently announced a new program called SugarMama, which lets cell phone users earn one minute talking time by receiving text messages on their phones, then answering questions to prove they were alert to the content or by watching 30-second commercials on a computer. The company plans to make the SugarMama program available to Virgin Mobile users in a few weeks.

It is reported that Virgin Mobile has already signed up two major advertising clients for SugarMama - Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox video-game console and Pepsi-Cola.

Is the timing for this new advertising platform correct? Years ago people were on more expensive cell phone plans that offered fewer minutes. In recent years the cost of airtime has seen drastic reductions and most people do not have the same ‘airtime' concerns they previously did years ago.

That leaves an open question - what cell phone user will take advantage of SugarMama. The people who want to earn free cell phone minutes are likely to be individuals with very little if any disposable income. Unless the content is creative and creates a buzz or hype, it is doubtful if any of the advertisers will see a change in their bottom line due to their participation.

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