NeoMedia has been awarded a patent covering the capture and processing of bar codes explicitly from camera cell phones. NeoMedia’s technology enables capturing the image of a bar code by the camera device on a Web-enabled cell phone, and processing the bar code so as to deliver the appropriate URL – or Web-based information – to the user’s cell phone screen. [via The Pondering Primate]
CNET has an interesting article on big consumer brands gradually moving their attention to mobile phones. Cell phones offer the possibility of establishing a direct relationship with customers, and brands obviously hope to take advantage of such opportunity. However, jumping on the mobile bandwagon is not for everyone. As some expert point out, branded content needs to be relevant and high-quality in order to succeed. As you know, content is expensive to produce and, when it comes to mobile phones, it also gets expensive to deliver. This means brands really need to understand whether such investment is worth or not, in terms of ROI but also of brand strenght over time.
Textually reports Stephen King is about to launch a new media campaign to promote his new book “Cell: a novel“. Thousand of Stephen King’s fans who opted-in to receive promotional information on their mobile phone will receive the following SMS: “The next call you take may be your last… Join the Stephen King VIP Club at www.cellthebook.com.” Exclusive, gloomy, ringtones and the book wallpaper are also available to buy, but only for AT&T and Cingular.
Brandrepublic reports British Airways will soon start using mobile marketing as part of its promotional and customer service activities. BA has been testing the medium during 2005 and given the positive results, it’s ready to make mobile communication part of its business. They recently have appointed Incentivated to run the mobile activities.
Ops, sorry if the post’s title sounds a little bit rude, but actually the news is really about P&G giving away a ringtone to promote its Tampax brand. As New Media Age (sub. req.) reports, Tampax is running an on-pack promotion driving girls to this website where they can create personalized ringtones and share them with other site visitors. The ringtone preview is free for everybody, but in order to download the tune visitors need to submit a unique code they can find on Tampax packs. Given the brand, the initiative is certainly unique, and I invite you to visit the site which is really well done. Of course, following the current trend, user generated content is at center of the stage, also with a competition which will assign Motorola phones to the most voted personal tunes.
New Media Age reports Coca-Cola UK is planning to invest more and more money in mobile advertising. Coke claims mobile phones are potentially more powerful than TV in reaching its target audience. Quoted in the article, Coca-Cola marketing manager James Eadie explains:Mobile marketing could be phenomenally important, when you look at the penetration of handsets and the passion the audience has for mobile. As a way of connection, it ought to be phenomenally powerful and more important than TV. So we should be spending 50% of our marketing budget within decades.
Of course, Eadie also recognizes there are still several obstacles preventing mobile marketing to go mainstream. For example, the differences among carriers in shortcodes application and the unavailability of freephone text.
In the UK, automaker Seat has started a mobile marketing initiative to promote the launch of its new Leon car model. A Wap portal featuring all the information on the new Leon is currently being promoted with Tv and print advertising. The Wap site also allows visitors to book a test drive or order a brochure. Ok, this is not a sensational news, but I like the fact Seat is exploring new marketing channels. The future is in integration, so let’s support all the brands that make the first steps in this direction. [news via NMA]
New Media Age reports Universal has partnered with BoreMe Mobile to launch a series of mobile viral videos. Kontraband and mobile carrier 3 already moved the first steps in this direction a few months ago. Funny mobile videos are available for download for £1, but users are encouraged to share the content with friends using Bluetooth technology. The cost of mobile video is in fact one of the main points of discussion when it comes to moving viral ideas to mobile phones. It’s good to see that brands don’t focus their approach on making money out of it but rather on having users exchanging their branded content. With the growth of 3G more and more users have Bluetooth enabled phone, and I believe this is the key technology to push peer-to-peer interactions. Unfortunately at the moment (I think) it isn’t possible to track the number of times a file passes from one user to the other, but I’m sure that with the diffusion of the mobile Internet new tracking technologies will become available. Furthermore there are other “traditional” ways to monitor the buzz.
Small and medium size companies using mobile marketing are reporting good results. Brandrepublic quotes a new research by Textalert saying that 72% of SMEs using text messaging reported a rise in turnover of over 10%. The article also reports the main problem SME are facing when using mobile marketing is recipients’ fear of being spammed.
We recently talked about bluetooth marketing, and now it’s time to make another step ahead (or behind?) and say something of mobile marketing via infra-red. New Media Age (reg. req.) reports that currently in the UK the movie Goal! is being promoted with interactive bus shelters people can connect to via infra-red. By pointing the mobile phone to the interactive poster user can download the trailer, discover the plot and enter a competition to win a walk-on part in the sequel. The campaign was created by Feref Digital and planned by Carat. No doubt that with the rise of portable multimedia devices, the digital outdoor media business is going to grow rather fast. I believe establishing a connection with a prospect at a bus shelter is a smart idea. The wait often increases our need for distraction, so we might be more receptive to branded entertainment. However we should also keep in mind that not a lot of people are aware of their mobile phone functionalities, especially when it comes to bluetooth and infra-red so.
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