Mobile Advertising for Aponjon


In Bangladesh, a child of less than 1 month old dies in every 4 minutes because his/her mother didn’t have access to proper ante-natal and post-natal care. Due to the very same appalling reason, a woman in Bangladesh dies from complications in pregnancy or childbirth every 45 minutes. A great majority of these deaths can be prevented by giving the (expecting) mothers proper access to the right healthcare information and advices.


To considerably lower this unfortunate mortality, Dnet – a social enterprise – looked for ways to reach out to mothers with valuable if not critical life-saving advices regarding child birth and care. The solution for outreach had to be universal and highly accessible considering many of these mothers lived on the fringes of cities or in rural areas with limited access to expert doctors’ advice and medical facilities. At the same time, the solution had to be self-sustainable in the long run through paid advertisement.


In its bid to help Dnet reduce maternal and child mortality rate, ssd-tech proposed a targeted solution using the widely available, basic GSM phone handset.

Translating advertisements to bite-sized, time-sensitive chunks of ‘audio clips’ which would be delivered to expecting mothers as well as loved ones’ mobile handsets when it mattered most, and wherever they were located – no matter how remote.


The voice-on-phone advertisements were selected based on the expecting mother’s week of pregnancy (e.g., say 24th week, or 40th week after conception) and relevant advertisement(s) was sent to them (as well as guardians/caregivers/husbands). Messages were further tailored as per the recipient types and the three main groups (women, husbands and other family members like mothers-in-law) all receive different advertisement tailored to their roles.


In Bangladesh, mobile phone subscription stands at 85 million with 63% of households carrying at least one mobile phone – making it a universal choice for highly targeted and content-customized voice-on-phone advertisements.


SSD-TECH developed the solution in such a way that advertisement clips  could be inserted dynamically after each voice content. Ad files (audio clips) would be played automatically after the regular IVR contents to the expecting mothers and loved ones closest to her. Advertisements are selected based on

  • Weeks of Pregnancy
  • Age of New born
  • Dialect type – urban or rural

A delivery report based on date range required by the user (from start to end) would be generated, incorporating the following fields:

  • MSISDN of the subscriber who received the content with ad
  • Delivery time
  • Status of the delivery (received or not)
  • Content ID
  • Aavailability of the advertisement (YES/NO)
  • Duration of content listened to in MM:SS
  • Duration of ad listened to in MM:SS
  • Total duration listened to in MM:SS

After selecting the date range, the user could click on “Export Report”, and the generated report will be exported to Excel which can be easily downloaded. SSD-TECH would also monitor user feedback and conduct UAT to ensure smooth rollout of the project within the given timeline. The UAT pilot was conducted on September 2011 and MAMA project went live on December 2012 – with great success.


Of the over ~448,000 current subscribers of Aponjon, ~380,500 are mothers and pregnant women, while ~67,500 are other household members. Aponjon is growing rapidly; the subscriber base grew by 60,000 users in the month of March, 2014 alone.1


In addition, awareness among other household members/decision-makers about the specific needs of women during pregnancy resulted in improved nutrition and more frequent antenatal visits and better preparation for delivery, thereby having a direct positive impact on the women.


Early studies proved that husbands were the economic enabler to phone adoption, and inclusion of husbands allowed for improved healthcare practices in families important for pregnant women. SSD-TECH played a vital role in enabling the technology behind this “holistic spread” of healthcare awareness, helping achieve sustained improvements in knowledge, healthy behaviors and health outcomes.


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