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Kiwi Start-Up launches mobile lock-screen advertising

29 Nov 2013

This November, Kiwi tech start-up Little Lot will be the first to release full screen mobile advertising on the lock-screen in the New Zealand market.

Directors, David and Stephen Hillier, believe it will quickly become the premier mobile marketing channel.

“There’s no doubt that mobile is the hottest area in advertising at the moment, and we are now offering the largest and most frequently viewed space on these devices to our clients," says David Hillier.

Little Lot is all about the small effort made by individuals which, when viewed collectively, make a big difference, he explains.

“It’s about leveraging technology to help others, with no time-wasting or financial outlay to the end-user."

Many will know this social enterprise as Donate Your Desktop, their previous name while in beta phase. The company pioneered computer desktop advertising by asking users to donate their desktop backgrounds as an advertising space in return for 75 percent of the advertising revenue being channelled to their chosen charity.

Back in January the concept was named in the UNESCO Netexplo Top 100 Digital Innovators, and in July one of the founders, Nelson Rayner, won the Advertising Club of New York’s Google Young Innovators Award.

The Little Lot team raised $200k in seed investment and secured an MSI government research and development grant to redevelop their platform and introduce a host of new offerings for both users and advertisers.

The new system includes freshly developed apps for Windows and Mac, and the new-to-market Android app which places wallpaper advertising on a custom lock-screen.

The biggest advancement to the back-end system is the ability for clients to target their advertising by age, gender, region, interests, and – their most unique offering - by charity. This required a major rework of their existing calendar-based model to a real-time priority queue system.

The effect for users is that they now have much more control over their experience. Little Lot provides the ability to choose from a number of wallpapers per day and fall back to personally-chosen wallpaper if desired.

“Choice is everything in the digital world. It’s not enough to just provide relevant content based on their profile; if we’re going to ask people to give up the most personal space on their favourite device, then they need to be in control of what’s in front of them” comments technical lead, Bennor McCarthy.

The system has therefore been designed to learn what advertising the user likes through a Spotify-inspired ‘thumbs up/thumbs down’ interface to rate the wallpapers. All three apps also provide immediate click through from the wallpapers and social media sharing functionality.

To address user queries surrounding how much was being donated, Little Lot is introducing transparent donations tracked by a progress bar which measures the amount raised by everyone supporting the cause chosen by each user.

The initiative already runs desktop wallpaper campaigns for big name clients including Barfoot and Thompson, Huffer, Heinz Watties, Air New Zealand and University of Waikato - along with a host of local businesses.

“It doesn’t matter who the advertiser is. Our expectation is that every piece of advertising we accept must have an outstanding design,” says David Hillier.

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