Virgin Mobile‘s Sugar Mama program includes an advertising program that gives subscribers free call time for interacting with ads on their phones. Basically, you spend about a minute listening to an advertisement or filling out an online survey and get a free minute of talk time. There are two ways to earn free minutes with Sugar Mama:
- Sugar Mama Online: Watch short spots on a PC and rate them to get 1 minute of airtime for every minute of your time or Fill out surveys about brands, products, and services, and get 5 minutes of airtime for completing a 5-minute survey
- Sugar Mama Mobile: Receive text (SMS) or picture messages (MMS) on your phone, then follow the instructions to start racking up your free minutes. For every two Sugar Mama Mobile activities you complete, you get one minute of airtime.
You can earn up to 75 minutes each month with Sugar Mama. To be eligible for Sugar Mama, you need to be an active subscriber – you need to add at least $20 every 90 days, a $10 Top-Up every 45 days (up to a maximum of 90 days), or be enrolled in one of our monthly TALK options or $6.99 TALK.
Since the program was launched about a year ago, Virgin Mobile has signed up 330,000 of its 4.8 million subscribers into the Sugar Mama program and given away 9 million minutes of mobile talk time. While this 7% uptake wouldn’t be counted as a great success, it shows that some users are open to the idea of using ads to get free minutes.
This is an interesting form of mobile advertising. Perhaps the next iteration will be a free mobile service in return for interacting with advertisements.