Yahoo! and coupons 16:24 on Sunday

I got 30 seconds with Marc Davis on Thursday and he explained the mobile recommendations/advertising vision Yahoo! has, and I could not understand based on his presentation on Monday nor his long-form presentation at Mindtrek on Wednesday.

In short, it’s about coupons. Advertisers provide users with virtual coupons (sort of, as far as I know), which the users can use when recommending products, services, restaurants, whatnot.

Pop Tarts Coupon
Pop Tarts Coupon, originally uploaded by Waffle Whiffer.

A funny coincidence with the coupon analogy: I have a file on my laptop dating back to February 2007, outlining an idea about online coupons. The idea was that people could first go to Coupon Generator (™) and generate a coupon for a service provider of their choice. Let’s say I would go and generate a coupon for the local coffee place, Kaffecentralen. I would enter the name of the recommended place (Kaffecentralen) and an identifier of the recommender (for example, my blog url). The generator would spit out an embed code, not unlike the codes used for YouTube and the like. I could then use this embed code to put the coupon on my own site.

When a visitor would come by my site, she could print the coupon, then take the printed coupon to Kaffecentralen. The people at Kaffecentralen would be like “woot” and after a while they would start wondering what is it all about with people handing them these strange coupons for nothing. They would see that all of these people have come to Kaffecentralen because some guy at this url recommended the place.

What happens next I did not think through. ;) The idea was that Kaffecentralen could then figure out how to award me for pointing those new customers their way.

Maybe there could be a more formal way to award, or possibly thought out ideas for the service providers. Maybe the service providers could register themselves and offer discounts on the coupons. Variations to the idea are only limited to the confines of the paper coupon.

One Response to “Yahoo! and coupons”


  1. Kristoffer Lawson Says:

    One of our fellow Seedcamp finalists is doing something along the lines of virtual coupons for mobile devices. Might be worth following them: