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Turning Advertising on its Head

FY Teng | June 27, 2014
Carl Wong founded Pitch6, which is now getting consumers to create ads for advertisers. He tells us why.

 Pitch6 Founder Carl Wong with his son Finn Pitch6 Founder Carl Wong with his son Finn

Pitch6 officially launched its new platform on June 20, 2014, with the mission of transforming the digital advertising business. How does it intend to do that? By enabling consumers to create advertisements for advertisers. (The first client looking to benefit from this is Cerebos Pacific Limited, which is leveraging Pitch6's platform in a campaign to promote BRAND'S Essence of Chicken in Singapore via a competition seeking the best 6-second commercial of the product submitted by consumers in the country.)

Pitch6's Founder Carl Wong-a trained barrister who decided early on his career to be an entrepreneur instead-took some time off his busy schedule to tell us about how he came to the creation of Pitch6, and where he expects advertising, particularly on the digital and mobile fronts, to be heading in the years ahead.

Talk about the mobile advertising as you see it.
Carl Wong:
The global mobile digital advertising industry is large and growing rapidly. Total industry spend is expected to exceed US$31 billion this year and grow by over 300 percent to almost US$95 billion within four years (ref. eMarketer, March 2014) with the greatest growth coming from mobile video advertising.

However this needs to be seen in the context of total global advertising spend. In 2014, the total global advertising market is expected to exceed US$1.63 trillion (ref. McKinsey & Company-Global Media Report 2013). Seen in these terms, the mobile advertising market is still relatively small.

The reason the mobile advertising industry disproportionately lags other advertising sectors is also its greatest opportunity. According to a 2012 Forrester Consulting report, only 12 percent of consumers believe that mobile advertising is engaging. Even worse, almost 70 percent of consumers find mobile ads annoying. This is the problem, and opportunity, that Pitch6 set out to address.

What in your estimation are factors that have contributed to making the current market and where do you see it going?
The growth of the mobile marketing industry is driven by 2 factors.

Smartphone Growth-In 2013, smartphone sales for the first time exceeded sales of feature phones. Perhaps more tellingly, in the same year smartphone sales also exceeded PC sales. There are now estimated to be over two billion smartphones globally growing to 5.6 billion by the end of 2019 (ref. Ericsson Mobility Report, Nov 2013).

24/7 access-Unlike any other advertising medium, the mobile phone has provided a means for advertisers to access consumers during their every waking moment.

Tell us about your previous ventures and why you have chosen to enter the mobile advertising space today.
With the exception of an Internet portal I set up during the heady days of the dotcom era, most [of my previous ventures] were brick-and-mortar businesses: a commercial cleaning company, an IT training business, a microlight flying business and a seafood wholesale/retail business. 


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