From China a nice cartoon based website to promote a range of mobile phones.
In the super crowded world on communication around mobile devices, it’s Interesting to see the approach this approach that mixes illustrations and a nice soundtrack simply to present a simple catalogue of mobile phones.
In Japan Docomo is online with a new advergame to promote its Prime series of mobile phones, especially created for maximum enjoyment of video, games and other entertainment by people who love to explore the latest multimedia.
Of course given the language gap understanding how the game works is far from being simple. However I somehow managed to understand that after choosing a character you have to walk around the city to meet other groups of people and challenge them in quick and easy games.
In the UK Nokia is online with a new website to present its E71 model. Wieden + Kennedy and Hi-res! are the agencies which commissioned four films to bring to life the concept of “Beautiful Connections” that characterizes the phone.
The result is a website made of four very beautiful videos and not much else. What I mean by this is that weirdly enough, the information about the mobile phone is almost non existent on the site. You get only two images of its design and that’s it. I have contrasting feelings about marketing initiatives that mix art and advertising. As usual I have a very pragmatic approach, and I appreciate and understand them only when the brand and the product fit the artwork. In Nokia’s case the video do a nice job in visualizing the idea of beautiful connections, but the website lacks the step further not connecting the phone with the same idea. What do you think? Am I too radical in my opinion? Or am I too conservative thinking that adding technical information about the phone will banalize the experience?
In the UK, the BBC has just launched “Your shout” a trial service which allows football fans to send in 3G video messages with their opinions on football. The best video comments will be shown on Saturday’s Football Focus and on the Football Focus website. The technology for this service has been developed by VoxSurf. Andy Munarriz, co-founder of VoxSurf explains:“It combines the immediacy of the phone with the excitement of video to allow anyone to create personalised content and become a football pundit. With 3G becoming mainstream we see major opportunities for leading broadcasters to get even closer to their viewers.”
Marketing to kids can prove tricky. Marketing mobile phones to kids can be even trickier. The Sydney Morning Herald (free reg.) reports that in Australia there is a discussion going on children and mobile phones. New research show handset could threat kids’ health and Australian mobile carriers take different approaches to the findings. Virgin Mobile doesn’t market its products to under-10s; Telstra says 10-14 years-old are youths not children, so it’s ok to target them; Vodafone and Optus have guidelines which prohibit marketing to under-16s. Who’s right and who’s wrong? My opinion is that children simply don’t need mobile phones.
THQ Wireless has signed a deal with Lucasfilm which grants THQ Wireless to develop and distribute a comprehensive offering of Star Wars branded content for mobile phones. Fans worldwide will be able to interact with and personalize their mobile phones with Star Wars-themed mobile games and ringtones such as the Imperial March, one of the most recognizable themes in movie history.
Guess what’s the 21st century Swiss Army knife equivalent? The answer is on Reveries in an article by Scott Goodson, co-founder of advertising agency StrawberryFrog. It’s the mobile phone, whose growth in functionalities and popularity seems to be unstoppable. The rise of mobile phones is also causing the death of PDA (Sony has stopped selling PDA outside of Japan) and a suffering state for digital cameras producers.
Ringtones are a huge business: it’s a statement we have been hearing quite often lately. The latest article exploring the issue has been published on TechCentral and it’s dedicated to Malaysian’s market. EMI Malaysia managing director Darren Choy notes that the new generation of consumers is actually buying more albums that CDs. Ringtones add a new level of personalization to mobile phones. “Ringtones are a youth fashion statement today, just like blue-jeans in the 1970s” said the author of the article. It would be interesting to investigate users’ psychological relationship with the cell phone, and understand what’s the meaning of the device in daily life, what it represents, what is it for. There is actually a paper, by Hulme and Peters entitled “Me, My Mobile and I” (.pdf) which studies the influence mobile phones have on society and the use of other media.
Scandinavian carrier Telia will offer its customers the possibility to experience the Olympic Games via their mobile phones. As explained in the press release, thanks to an agreement with Sveriges Television (SVT), which owns the broadcasting rights in Sweden for the Athens Olympics, Telia will be able to to offer SVT material from the summer Olympic Games via mobiles.
US mobile marketers will soon start loving teenagers. Young users are the market segment most willing to pay for wireless content and services. They love MMS, the possibility to download ringtones and music and play with their mobile phones. As an article published a couple of weeks ago on BizReport explains: “For the typical adult, the wireless phone is a device for getting business done, say phone company executives. But among the young, the untethered phone has transcended mere utility and becomes a symbol of freedom to talk without parental intrusion, as well as a way of networking with friends, a form of entertainment and an accessory that reflects social rank.” This is terribly true, but it’s also a clear sign that the US mobile market it’s still in its infancy. Cellular phones become successful at first as a status symbol, and then “grow up” improving the quality of their image perceived by a broader (mass) market. It happened in Europe, and I’m sure it will happen in the US. In a way, teenagers will play the evangelists’ role in building the value of mobile phones.
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