Greystripe Targets Regional Mobile Ads, Not the More Trendy Hyper-Local Ads

If there’s one area of mobile advertising that’s hot right now, it’s hyper-local, or the ability to target coupons, offers or recommendations within a block or two of a person’s location.

But San Francisco-based Greystripe, a mobile ad network, says there’s a bigger opportunity in selling brand advertising when you take a slightly larger view.

“When we looked at the market for local and hyper-local, there’s no brand play there. We asked ourselves, how do you get rich media into a hyper-local experience? It’s not obvious, but the big place for the brands to place ads is at the regional local level,” said Greystripe’s CEO Michael Chang.

To that end, Greystripe is announcing a strategic partnership with Media Networks, Inc., a Time Inc. company, which goes by MNI for short.

Greystripe will leverage MNI’s 80-person sales team, which was focused exclusively on local buys online to sell mobile ads, while MNI will rely on Greystripe’s expertise in mobile and inventory of mobile applications and Web sites. It’s the first time MNI has moved into mobile, and for Greystripe, it will represent a significant expansion beyond its 12-person sales team.

Chang said even though you see local plays, like Groupon and LivingSocial raising billions of dollars, the regional play is not to be forgotten. The hyper-local guys, he says, are often going after the same dollars allocated to the Yellow Pages, whereas there’s a separate bucket for big brands wanting to advertise locally.

Examples include a car dealership that covers a whole region, a hospital that treats patients in an entire county or a McDonald’s franchise that owns multiple locations.

“It’s not so fine grain,” he said.

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