Pabbl: Advertise There Where Millennials Look 150 Times a Day

November 8, 2017

“I actually had three other start-ups, when we started Pabbl. I decided to close down and sell the other businesses”, says Bas Gerritsen, founder of Pabbl. Our first private investor still sees future in Pabbl. Since the start of Pabble, he invested twice in the innovative concept: advertising on the smartphone lock-screen.

Bas how would you describe Pabbl in one tweet?

“You will receive ads through the Pabbl app. With each unlock you earn points for discounts and products.”

What does Pabbl do exactly?

“Pabbl offers content on your lock screen: ads, articles, and weather. In return, you can save for a cup of coffee at CoffeeCompany, a movie ticket or a gift card from Hema.”

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Whats your vision?

“Pabbl brings the advertiser and user together. I think that advertising is currently not how it should be. The research that I took among students and high school students with Pabbl confirms that. We investigated what people think is important and nice when it comes to advertising and how to put it in front of the lock screen. The results? Full-screen, beautiful and relevant and not screaming, so without pricing, bright colors and a lot of text.”

How did you come up with Pabbl?

“My co-founder Jeroen Malotaux was inspired while riding the metro. He had just finished a report on billboards and saw a huge billboard at underground station Spaklerweg in Amsterdam. He himself forgot his phone that day, but it came to his attention that his fellow travelers only paid attention to their phone. Either: nobody seemed to see the billboard, while the advertiser is promised a certain reach.”

And then?

“Following his observation, Jeroen has drawn a flow chart. This showed that the lock screen is the most viewed screen and has not yet been used for this type of purpose. This idea has continued, and when Jeroen and I were together, two ideas passed. One was focussing on game development and the other on fashion. But eventually we went for the idea with the most potential: Pabbl. Our very first investor still sees a future in Jeroen and me as entrepreneurs and in the idea. It is already successful in other countries.”

What offers Pabbl to the user?

“The perception of relevant content and the Pabbl shop. Whoever starts pabbling saves points, which you can redeem for discounts, gift cards and quality brands. Every moment you look at your phone must surprise and match the moment. For example, Dove in the morning and Heineken in the evening during a Champions League match.”

Is it only ads on Pabbl?

“Not only will ads appear on your lock screen, but also news articles or the weather forecast. With these companies, we have barter deals: paying in services or products instead of money.”

What do you offer advertisers?

“An ad platform that can reach millennials 150 times a day. They check their smartphone on average this often. Combined with the comprehensive targeting options offered by Pabbl, you have a new way of advertising a target audience that is generally difficult to reach. ”

Who are already affiliated with Pabbl and what products are available at the Pabbl shop?, Brandfield, Domino’s Pizza, Hema, Sneakers, Zalando, Coffeecompany, and other partners already advertise through Pabbl. Not by accident, they are all quality brands. Our users are critical and rightly claim high demands on the content that appears. The partners provide the advertising material themselves and 9 of 10 times we take care of the design of the ad.”

Who are your competitors?

“In Europe, Pabbl is the only company that does lock-screen advertising. Worldwide, about twenty parties are working on a similar concept. The biggest is Cashslide from South Korea. This company is founded about four years, had a turnover of 60 million US dollars in 2016 and is now also in Japan and expands in China. Cashslide has a gift shop, which ranges from a red bull to the supermarket to supercharged gadgets. Their nature and ads do not fit our target audience. Another competitor is Australia’s Unlockd, which has acquired a $ 23 million B-investment by 2016. There, you will not save for gift cards or products, but for a discount on your phone subscription.”

What is the distinctive character of Pabbl?

“We researched why Cashslide and Unlockd are doing well and why others are just blunted. Combined with our own research on the user wishes, this has led to how Pabbl and the revenue model are how they are today, and that is a unique proposition; full screen and first screen. And therefore, a very powerful advertising channel.”

What has your attention at this moment?

“Pabbl has been registered with the Chamber of Commerce since November 2015 and we have tested a lot since then. On Thursday, November 2 was the official launch. We are focusing on the users and continuous optimization of the app. That is why we are also busy engaging advertisers who are relevant to the user. “


At the end of October, Pabbl won the public award at the Accenture Innovation Awards. What did you gain for your participation?

“Especially media attention. We received an additional positive stamp and you are soon known to more companies and individuals. Experts see the opportunities and possibilities of the Pabbl concept. For example, we are approached to speak on Mixed Emotions Live and next week we will join IAB. These are examples of developments that stem indirectly from the positive flow generated by our participation in the AIA17. “


Read the orginal article in Dutch on Emerce

Pabble won the Public Price at  AIA17



Bas Gerritsen

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Accenture Innovation Awards