Notes from the (mobile) mediascape: Iamota and Target aim to boost mobile ad solutions

Vancouver's iamota nabbed a top AOL Mobile exec for its upcoming plans in mobile advertising, while Target Broadcast Sales is set to sell mobile inventory for a US company.

Vancouver-based iamota is gearing up to get brands interacting with mobile consumers by snapping up Mary Lou Hardy, former director of global marketing for AOL Mobile’s B2B division in Seattle.

The mobile application service provider recently completed a round of $1 million in seed funding from investors and its management team. The company is set to announce details of its new product offering later this month.

Hardy will drive iamota’s effort to connect marketers and advertisers with consumers via text and mobile messaging. She says the company’s ‘aggressive and unique positioning in this rapidly growing mobile segment attracted me to come back to Vancouver to drive iamota’s commercialization efforts.’

Last fall, the company teamed up with AppLocation Systems to combine its mobile marketing, message and payment platform with AppLocation’s MobileFusion, aiming to give brands the ability to deliver location-based messages. Iamota CEO Pete Smyth says the deal enables ‘global brands to deliver rich digital content that is customizable and delivered on an opt-in basis.’

‘If a transit rider is sitting in a downtown Vancouver office on a rainy day and wants to know if the bus is going to be late, it is possible to opt-in for on-time bus services,’ says AppLocation Services president Gary Hartwig. ‘By connecting the locations of the handset and the bus, the rider can request messaging services to be advised if the bus is late and also be sent a coupon to have a beer at the nearest pub instead.’

Late last month, San Francisco-based Amobee Media Systems – another mobile ad solutions company – partnered with independently owned Target Broadcast, which will act as a rep for selling some mobile ad inventory managed by Amobee. Target Broadcast Sales president Stephen Sienko noted the deal was a good fit for clients due to Amobee’s ability to insert ad impressions into mobile WAP browsing, video and music, SMS, MMS and games. Target Broadcast will sell from five offices in Canada.

In the US, CBS Mobile teamed up with Loopt this week to offer location-based mobile ads for its news and sports offerings.