Hotmob will debut its first advertising format on the mobile lock screen via a partnership with Showbox.
The app will result in pop-up ads on the lock screen, whereby users can "Like" the brand's Facebook page, claim a deal, click to a landing page, watch a video, or scroll past to access the phone like they'd normally do.
The ads on the lock screen will adjust according to the users' interests. In return for their efforts, users can earn points when they interact with the ads, which can be used to redeem vouchers or gifts (Showbox's current gift-exchange partner only includes an online gadget store), cash out from their PayPal account or even donate to charities (its existing partner is an animal protection charity).
Advertisers, on the other hand, are charged cost-per-user. Further interactions with the ads do not require more money.
Current advertisers include ones from the automobile, beauty and entertainment industries, who will already have ads available on the app on its launch on 9 October.
Aside from advertisements, the lock screen space will also feature information on local events from Timable.
Hotmob CEO Johnny Wong said the new format is a matter of maximising eyeball-time on a phone.
"The problem with in-app advertising is that users need to actively open the app before they can see it," he said.
"But everyone has a lock screen, and everyone uses it at least once a day. So the problems then become ‘have we utilised it enough? Can we use it to match our usages?'"
The launch of Showbox is the first move made under Hotmob's new identity, which came with a renewed tagline "Mobile ad On Demand" (from its previous "Prime Advertising Network") as well as a new logo earlier this month.
The milestone, added Wong, is to move with the times and adhere to the increasing demands of retargeting.
"What we see is very different. We can no longer satisfy with just a broad network, but mobile on demand," he said, adding that Hotmob's new offerings - whether in partnerships, technology or product - is to keep the market exciting and to persuade marketers to put more eggs in the mobile basket.
"In the past two years, we've seen a lot more investments coming into mobile. But it's also only the bigger companies who'd actually spend in this region, and we want that to change."