Mobile marketing on the spot…

Link: blending the mix � UK sends 3.3 billion text in May 2006.

Here’s a question for seasoned mobile marketers from Paul:

The BBC reports that UK mobile phone users sent 3.3 billion texts last month. My question is this: Has anyone really ever heard of a text campaign receiving the same amount of kudos for its creativity as say, The Simpsons youtube ad, yet the medium has been around for years longer? There is either a lack of understanding in the sector or mobile marketing is just too tricky a market to be creative in.
What do you think?

I’m sat thinking hard. I hope that someone can rescue me and answer Paul!

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

7 replies on “Mobile marketing on the spot…”

Funny you should say that… We have something in the pipeline that may well turn mobile advertising on its head.

Look out for it the end of next month…

It’s a new way of getting your message across without the need to ever text more than once.

Also it allows you to have moving adverts that may well be seen as cool rather than annoying…

The data load is really small and we are working on making it even smaller at the moment.

I’ll let you know when we are a bit closer to beta testing….

Kudos for creativity is tough in the world of SMS. My personal favourites are the McDonald’s Monster’s Inc campaign which combined SMS with IVR (you know, press 1 for yes, 2 for no systems). It was a simple text and win type mechanic off packets of fries. A door revealed a lucky number. You texted in the lucky number and if you won, the system called you back and a monster screamed at you (tying in with the film’s theme). This created an element of surprise and great in-store theatre. This campaign was run by The Marketing Store and 12snap.

The other one to mention is the Walker’s Win an Ipod campaign from last Autumn. You could win an Ipod every 5 minutes by texting in the lucky number on your packet of crisps. Every 5 minutes a winner was chosen. So if you texted in at 4 in the morning, your chances of winning were probably higher than texting in at 1.30pm in the afternoon. Responses varied depending on how many times you’d entered and included music trivia and tips on how to maximise your chances of winning. It is estimated that 5% of the UK population entered the competition. Sponge managed the service – can’t remember which marketing agency it was though.

I agree Helen, there are no doubt some great applications out there, but (and maybe I am asking for the impossible!) they are all interactive, response-required ads. Why not something that…just looks great?

With a huge amount of mobiles now with colour screens is there not an opportunity to create visually attractive (MMS?) ads which would be, in effect, mobile youtube-style viral ads?

Have we ever had a viral MMS message? Are there compatibiity or even data protection issues surrounding MMS marketing?

I found this very interesting because I’m a university senior majoring in Visual Communication and I’m working on my thesis which is an exploration on the potential of MMS advertisements.

I have to say that I was wishing to steer away from interactive ads and concentrate more on ads that just look great. The question though is: will it work?

Not sure that great looking ads will cut it on mobile. You have to remember that a mobile phone is a communications device – and the forms of communication in question are talking and texting. Yes, we’re seeing video on mobile now and we have rich media via wap and possibly MMS (still too expensive though for it to be commercially viable in the UK for marketing except for operators to their own base).

T-Mobile and Vodafone have used MMS for marketing their street gigs and secret gigs respectively which I think was a good use of MMS. But those messages weren’t about simply being ‘great looking’.

Mobile is also about snacking so spending time watching a great looking ad when you’ve tuned in to get the sports results, no matter how great the ad is, could just end up as annoying as it’s inappropriate and irrelevant at the time because the mobile is primarily a communications device not a media player.

Buj, I’m interested to know how your thesis goes and if you have interesting results to share.

Mark, how’s the shopkwik stuff going? Do you have any results to share yet?

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