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Interactive marketing and other great advertising ideas since 2003
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May 31, 2004
Online advertising in New Zealand

In New Zealand the online advertising market was worth $8 million in 2003. The Advertising Standards Authority has tried to measure the impact of the medium, finding out that "New Zealand advertisers haven't clicked on to online advertising". The news is reported on Stuff.

May 30, 2004
Rich media for Sharp's PDA

Uk agency Moonfish has created a rich media campaign to promote "Zauros" Sharp Electonics' latest PDA. A brief case study on Moonfish's site explains the campaign's concept "Work Hard, Play Hard" the characteristics of the online promotion, supported by a dedicated microsite.

May 28, 2004
Moore's Law and Electronic Games

Unrelenting progress in processing power, network bandwidth and storage capacity will enable the electronic game industry to become greater than five times more pervasive by 2010. The fact comes out of a recent research by Deloitte & Touche (Moore's Law and Electronic Games is the report's title). As explained in the press release, we can expect good news for many companies, as Scott Singer, Managing Director of Deloitte's Media and Entertainment Corporate Finance Group states:

"As technology continues to improve, new opportunities will arise for industries outside of the traditional electronic game arena, such as movie studios, record companies, advertisers, mobile phone producers, communications operators, toy manufacturers and electronics manufacturers. The installed base of devices will escalate from 415 million in 2004 to 2.6 billion in 2010."

Mobile war games?

Mobliss and Tribal DDB Worldwide have teamed up to create, implement and manage a wireless text messaging promotion for the United States Air Force. As explained in the press release, the promotion, which launches on May 29th and is expected to last through June, will involve a trivia game, called Air Force Snap Decisions. The trivia game will be available to wireless subscribers at three different events in conjunction with The United States Air Force "Cross Into the Blue" (CITB) Tour.

I don't know what to say about this initiative. It's a good sign that mobile marketing is becoming relevant in the US but, at the same time, I'm disconcerted by the fact that the army wants to entertain and engage its audience.
I can't ignore my pacifist soul.

To read more about videogames and war, check out "War Gaming", by Thomas Mucha, on Business 2.0.

Voyager's online promotion

To promote its Voyager model in the UK, Chrysler has developed an integrated marketing campaign using direct mailing, telemarketing and, of course, the Internet. The news is reported on Revolution quoting the opinion of Steve Gray marketing director at Chrysler Jeep UK.

FCUK targets the US with mobile

Fashion brand FCUK is targeting US market with a mobile campaign. FCUK has become the first brand to implement a simultaneous transatlantic mobile marketing and CRM program, working with creative agency Marvellous Mobile and Enpocket. As explained in the press release, the UK and US cross-carrier campaign, integrated tightly with other core customer channels, allows customers to interact with the brand via text messaging and to win a variety of prizes including gift certificates and t-shirts. By engaging customers with the brand and the radio station through their mobiles, FCUK hopes to build a profile of its customers and target individuals with specialised content that is particularly relevant to them.

May 27, 2004
Video ads have a bright future

Web-based video advertising is hot, and will get hotter & hotter in 2004. Today both and iMediaconnection focus their attention on the new format. At Ad:Tech in San Francisco industry experts have discussed the potentials of video advertising and video content in general on the Web. The expectations are high, and several brands are already experiencing positive results.
Is video advertising an hype? Is this going to be good bargain? What's consumers opinion? Let's wait a couple of month before answering.

May 26, 2004
Sms to promote Bad Boys II

Serial Wireless reports of a mobile marketing campaign created by PhoneValley to promote the home video version of Bad Boys II. The campaign, launched in France last April, allows users to download the movie's logo to their mobile phones.

A terrible initiative to promote a terrible movie? :-(

'Sex Olympics' wins best creative

The Viral Factory has won the Best Creative Award for the 'Sex Olympics' viral campaign which parodied Olympic events, substituting them with sexual "sports". The award is assigned each month by Interactive Advertising Bureau to encourage creativity online. Brand Republic reports that the jury commented:

"The Trojan Games is a great piece of online work. It's witty, well executed and original, one of the most memorable viral campaigns we've seen this year."

Australia's marketing push

The Australian Tourist Commission has decided to invest �150m in global marketing push. They have redesigned the web site to support the campaign's claim "Life in a Different Light". Brand Republic provides further information about the brand's relaunch which takes advantage of tv and interactive advertising.


After the big buzz created by Ford with its Evil-Ka viral campaign, the public opinion is now attracted by Corel and its (the "feature rich" video is simply fantastic). The Ottawa Business Journal dedicates a good article to viral marketing, quoting opinions of Corel people behind the SeeWhoGotFired idea, and presenting a few more online viral campaigns, such as Burger King's

Online campaign for Budget

Arthur Frommer's
Budget Travel magazine and Budget Rent A Car System have partnered to offer readers and renters a way to "Travel Large for
Less." As explained in the press release the initiative will be supported by a banner campaign running on

Text & win with Garnier

In Spain Garnier has launched a mobile marketing campaign to promote its products "Fructis Style". The initiative targets young consumers giving away prizes like scooters and videogames. As reported on Marketing Directo consumers can enter the competition by texting the sms code they find on Garnier's products. The campaign is promoted also through traditional offline channels.

Good news from the Wireless Summit

The interest for wireless entertainment products is growing in the US, as a press release commenting the Global Wireless Summit in LA explains.
The predominant opinion of panelists was that 2004 will see doubling if not tripling of mobile content revenues, and that ringtones may eclipse singles sales for the music industry.

May 25, 2004
Easy ringtones for Virgin Mobile

In the UK Virgin Mobile has launched an online campaign which allows users to pick their favourite ringtone directly from the ad. They can listen to the ringtone and then text a number to receive it, without visiting a Web site.

Online advertising's happy days

Ad:Tech 2004 is currently taking place in San Francisco. It's a good occasion to meet and to discuss problems and potentials of a difficult market, still looking for its identity. Kris Oser on Advertising Age says "Happy Days are here again" quoting the opinions of a few industry players.
To read more about Ad:Tech 2004 you can also check out eWeek (via Yahoo!).

Let's mobilize (everything)

No matter what the content is, you can get it on your mobile. SMS, MMS, WAP and UMTS. The potentials for mobile content are huge as an article on New Media Age explains today. There is a rush to mobilise all existing and new content. It's a pity the article simply reports a few information and doesn't provide the author's opinion about the market evolution.
I'm always negative when I read too much optimism and no analysis.

Is mobile video taking off in the US?

Actually the article's title on Cellular News is not a question, rather it's a statement, based on a recent research by In-Stat/MDR. They found out that found that "13.2% of U.S. wireless subscribers are extremely or very interested in purchasing video services for their wireless phones". Are we sure this is a good news? With all the respect, Americans don't even know how to send sms (probably they simply don't care). How come they are willing to pay for video content? I feel like wireless industry players in the US are trying to build up an hype about the market, exaggerating about present and future growth. Let's keep feet on the ground, trying not to spoil the real market potentials.

May 24, 2004
Videogames and advertising (again)

As the Latins used to say: panem et circenses. The worst the economy, the more people spends in entertainment. Then add the identity's crisis of the man in contemporary society, and you can easily understand why the gaming industry at the moment is flourishing. Following the motto "place your ad where the prospect is", the advertising industry is ready to "invade" videogames. Yes, we aren't talking about advergaming nor about product placement, this is actually an invasion, a rush to place a banner, a claim, a logo, on any spot a customer (he's not a man anymore...) could consciously or unconsciously note. I'm rather negative towards this topic, I can't help but considering it from the customer perspective. I'm annoyed by the idea of product placement in the movies, which is actually corrupting the output's quality. I fear the same might happen with videogames, since, as AdAge writes today, "advergaming grows in reach and power". Actually the article isn't only about product placement in videogames, rather it's about interactive gaming in general, considering also MMO (massively multiplayer online) and, of course, the "simple" advergames. There is also an interactive games report to download.

Connect, before it's too late

"Online creative is not very creative" says Jeremy Lockhorn on his latest column on ClickZ. I guess you already heard this sentence, but I'm also pretty much sure you don't remember the solution to the problem. A "call for creativity" is a usual grief from the online advertising industry, unfortunately it's not so easy to exactly explain what creativity actually is (especially on the Web). A reference to interactivity might help but, in general, I would says that online creativity is the ability to fully take advantage of the medium's characteristics: multimediality, immediacy, interactivity. As Jeremy explains, video can play a crucial role in enhancing the creativity level and also the quality of online ads. The point is we need to connect with consumers from the very first beginning of the relationship. But, at the same time, we need to "respect" our target, being polite with our advertising messages, asking for a sort of permission when presenting ads in unusual or intrusive formats.

Pepsi & Apple: let's do it again

Despite the failure of their first co-marketing initiative, Apple and Pepsi have decided to do it again. This time instead of the US, they have decided to target the Australian market with a campaign supported by mobile phones. As Macworld UK reports, Australian Pepsi drinkers with a cell phone, can enter the competition via SMS and win an iPod an hour for six weeks.

Text & book your plane ticket

Australian airline company Jetstar (Qantas' low cost) has launched a service which allows passengers to book tickets and receive flights's information via SMS. As Australian IT reports, the JetSMS service will kick off next month.

May 21, 2004
Seinfeld stars in web ad

American Express is launching an online video ad starring Jerry Seinfeld and Superman. As Revolution Magazine reports, it's a four minute web spot appearing on American Express' website. It's the second "webisode" created to support American Express' guarantee to replace damaged goods within 90 days of purchase.

May 20, 2004
The Citro�n C2 is online

Studio Richmedia SQLI has developed the micro-site and the online campaign for the launch of the new Citro�n C2 in France. They did a great job with Flash, that's why the case has been featured on Macromedia's web site (in French). Check it out, it's really cool, the interface is "seductive" and dynamic...

Cornetto's mobile love potion

The popular icecream Cornetto will be distributed this summer in six new flavours: the so called "Love potions". To support the launch, Unilever has massively invested in Tv advertising, but has also asked Flytxt to develop a text & win campaign. Revolution Magazine reports that a "Teasecard" will be distributed to people buying the new Cornetto. The card will allow them to enter a competition by sending an MMS, getting the chance to win 1,000 pounds to spend on a dream date.

Singapore's fastest SMS thumbs

SingTel is organising the first-ever nationwide contest to find the cellphone user with the fastest thumbs in Singapore. ChannelNewsAsia reports, adding that entrants won't be allowed to use the T9 functionality or other spelling aids.

Direct marketing with IM

Go where the prospect is... The marketers' motto can be applied now also to IM softwares loved, in particular, by teenagers. Instant messaging provide great opportunities for brands that want to get in touch with people under 25, as an article on iMedia Connection explains, presenting numbers and few examples of IM used as a marketing tool.
The article is pretty good, but it's important that it has been written by a person who works for a technology provider directly engaged in the IM business.

Click & win with Debitel

German carrier Debitel has launched an MMS based contest named "Fr�hlingsgesicht 2004" (Spring Face). Users can send their pictures with the portrait of funny or beautiful faces and get the chance to win a SPA weekend or a bunch of Siemens MC 60 mobile phones.
The campaign is promoted through MSN's network with dedicated banners and a special section.

Wireless Paradise City

Wireless technology to the Maldives. As Gareth Mitchell reports on BBC NEWS it is now possible to access the Internet with a Wi-Fi connection.
The news isn't a great news, what impressed me is the fact that the BBC's reporter "had" to travel to the Maldives to write such an article... poor guy!

May 19, 2004
Troy's online promotion

Brad Pitt's latest movie, "Troy" is taking advantage of a massive online promotion. What is curious to note is the fact that the portals chosen to support the initiative differ from country to country. In the Uk, Warner Bros picked Yahoo! (see Revolution Magazine), while in Germany and in Italy the campaign is currently running on MSN (read Pubblicit� Italia).

Italian online advertising sucks

Sebastiano Caccialanza, commercial director at Lycos Italia raises his voice in a desolating market. In an interview on Pubblicit� Italia (in Italian), Mr Caccialanza says:

"We can't be hypocrite: the Italian online advertising isn't growing, it's stagnant."

The market it's worth about100 million euros since three years. The problem, according to Lycos' manager is that Italian marketers don't perceive the Internet as a viable marketing channel.

"Gooooal": Nike's winning advergame

The One Show Interactive awards have been assigned last week but only a few online publications have decided to comment the event. AdWeek dedicates a brief overview to the winning campaigns, talking about Nec Corporation "Best of the Show Web Site" and the successful performance of San Francisco's agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners who received five Pencils.

Nike was nominated One Show Interactive's Advertiser of the Year for the second year in a row. It won the Gold Pencil in the category "Brand Gaming" for the advergame "Goooal" created by Framfab Denmark. As explained in the agency's press release the "Goooooal!" game is a turn-based real-time multi-player Flash football game, where the objective, unsurprisingly for a football game, is to outscore your opponent. The game can be still played online at

The dark future of MMS

Mike Grenville on the excellent 160 Characters reports the results of a recent survey on MMS' usage in the United Kingdom. Mobile operators have no reasons to be happy since:
- 83 per cent of mobile phone users are yet to send an MMS
- 21% of mobile phone users have so far sent or received an MMS message
The main limits to MMS' diffusion are the price (see recent post), and the fact that users see MMS being complementary to SMS, not a replacement.

For whom the (mobile) bell rings?

The ringtones business is still in its infancy in the US, but the interest of carriers and content providers in getting a piece of the pie, is already high. The problem is that the business model hasn't been defined yet and there's confusion in the players' role in the game.
On Reuters (via Yahoo! News) Scott Banarjee analyses the current state of the art of the US ringtones market. Up 'til now in only 5 percent of US cell phone users have downloaded a ringtone but, according to the Yankee Group, the business is expected to grow to $1 billion dollars by 2008.

Mobile gaming in Asia

Is mobile gaming the next killer application? Perhaps... As Telecom Asia reports in an excellent market's overview, the expectations were (are) big, but it�s only been recently that the mobile industry has seen the first signs that gaming has real growth potential. Asian operators expect revenues grow to $3.2 billion in 2008. South Korea and Japan are the countries in which mobile gaming is growing faster, thanks to the new technologies enabling richer content and advanced interactivity.

May 18, 2004
The buzz: behavioural targeting

In Italy we have a proverb that says "a vest doesn't make a monk". I don't know if this make sense in English, but I thought it was a good start for a post about behavioural targeting, which is the hot issue of the year. In 2003 the buzz was about contextual advertising, now the discussion is going a step further, analysing not only where the ad is served, but also to whom. There is an increasing demand for personalised services, and the advertising industry needs to adapt to this trend. As Azhar Rafee points out on New Media Age, the concept of behavioural targeting isn't brand new, but it's dramatically improved by the Internet:

"Both print and broadcast media have relied on behavioural techniques. But there's one key difference when we talk about behavioural targeting on the Web: it's the truest form of targeting because it's based on real behaviour, not a survey of what consumers say they do."

Also Ad Age analyses the potentials of behavioural advertising(of course they say "behavioral ;-) presenting the case of American Airlines and the Wall Street Journal. The whole sounds rather complicated, but Kris Oser explains it pretty well. Basically, the WSJ track visitors and what they read, combining these data with the information in the users' database. The "The database-targeting system invisibly creates a virtual audience of a different composition, or a different demographic, than the Web publication's larger, overall audience. Once they are identified, these segmented audience members can be "followed" around the site and served American Airlines ads, no matter what section of they are reading."

Michelin launches i-mode services

Michelin guides are now available for mobile phones. The popular service ViaMichelin which provides maps, itineries and restaurant tips has been launched this week in its I-Mode version. It will be offered in twenty European countries costing only 1 � per month. In Italy it will be available through Wind's I-Mode portal.

Branding in online communities

Marketers who want to promote their brands in online communities need to pay a lot of attention not to hurt users' sensibility. The risk of spamming or spying is always high. On iMediaConnection Neal Leavitt investigates the new ways a Californian company is experimenting in order to effectively build brand awareness in online communities. The "Online Community Outreach (OCO)" features three levels of forum sponsorships, offering marketers with the possibility of precise targeting and excellent positioning.
The first results are very positive, let's wait and test the patience of online communities' members. Advertising is everywhere...

Happy Birthday Adverblog

Today Adverblog is one year old.
I'm glad I managed to survive :-) and I'd like to thank all the nice people that support my job with nice emails and their daily visits.

May 17, 2004
Advergames and the bandwagon effect

MediaPost reports about the Entertainment Expo that took place last week in Los Angeles. During the event marketing managers had the chance to discuss advergames' potentials in prototing a brand.

More and more advertisers are looking at video games and advergames as an important vehicle to reach 18-to-34 years old males. A part from a recent research by Gartner G2, we haven't many numbers to confirm the trend is going to bring positive results. We have the "feeling" things are going well but, sometimes, I think there is a "me too" effect. I do like advergames and I would encourage marketers to adopt them but, at the same time, I always fear the "low quality menace" that could annoy consumers and consequently harm the entire industry.

On Mediapost there's actually another article, by Ross Fadner, who considers the question from gamers' perspective. The discussion isn't about advergames, rather about in-game advertising. Product placement in videogames has raised several polemics, claiming that a lot of sponsorships usually bring no value to games. P.J. MacGregor, vice president and partner, Play--the Starcom MediaVest Group said:

"Advertisements need to 'add value or some layer of realism' to be accepted by gamers".

Mobile gaming is growing (slowly)

Jupiter Research has announced last week a new research report "Portable Games Devices - Forecasting Growth in Anticipation of Intensifying Competition" in which it forecasts that the audience for portable gamers will grow from 23 million in 2003 to 43 million in 2009, with revenue growing from $1.6 billion in 2003 to $2.7 billion in 2009.

I don't see this as a strong growth, I would have expected bigger numbers. I have the sensation we are going to face a saturation in consumers' interest in gaming. There are too many devices out there (consolles, pc, mobile phones, PDA and all dedicated devices like GameBoy N-Gage and Zodiac) and some industry's players will surely be disappointed by the challenge on the gaming market.

Automakers and online advertising

The Detroit News dedicates an excellent article by Nick Bunkley to carmakers and their investments in online advertising. According to a report by TNS Media Intelligence/CMR, in 2003, the world�s 15 largest automakers spent $160.3 million on Internet advertising, a 70 percent increase over just two years earlier. The news isn't good as in apparently sounds, since, despite that growth, automakers still spent only 1 percent of their total advertising budgets on the Internet, far less than companies in many other industries.
However the Internet is seen as very helpful for targeting specific groups like gay people. DaimlerChrysler invested nearly 1 million $ on, while General Motors spent on the same web site about 624,000 $. On the contrary Ford spent only $1,000 and did not advertise on any other gay-oriented sites. Who did the right thing? Unfortunately the article provides no answer.

Sony Ericsson's MMS-based contest

"Style-up" is the slogan of the styling contest just launched in Germany by Sony Ericsson and ProSieben. Everyone can partecipate sending up to three MMS pictures of their "stylish" friends, with an original look, gaining the possibility of winning a stay in Paris during the Fashion Week, or a bunch of mobile phones. The campaign has started last Saturday, it will last six weeks and will be promoted with a online advertising and an email marketing campaign to ProSieben's subscribers.

Unicast ready to launch interactive video ads

Unicast is ready to launch on the market a new version of its video commercial. The new Flash based format will be interactive, allowing for side-by-side interactive elements during and after the video presentation. As explained in the press release, Avenue A, Ogilvy Interactive, and RPA are developing campaigns for advertisers using this latest version of the Video Commercial, the first campaigns are expected to go live in mid-June.
Richard Hopple, Unicast Chairman and CEO, commented:

"The Video Commercial with companion interactivity extends this tradition by ushering in the first generation of truly 'interactive' Television advertising. Never before has a single ad unit been able to unite advertisers' brand and direct response objectives in so compelling a manner."

Brands investing more in online ads

Big companies are starting considering the Web as part of their advertsing mix. I'm sure it's not the first time you hear such a sentence. It's probably a sign of the online advertising industry trying to convince itself it's alive and healthy. The latest "motivational" article has been published by Reuters, quoting opinions from DoubleClick, eMarketer, aQuantive and CNET Networks.

Telia to offer mobile Olympic Games

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.

May 16, 2004
Euro 2004, MMS' and doubts

Mobile carriers and content providers are looking with extreme attetion at the upcoming Olympic Games in Athens and at the European Football Championship in Portugal. Sports and football in particular represent the perfect hook to get people attention (and money) with mobile services.
T-Mobile, which is official sponsor of Euro 2004, has presented last week a series of interactive services that will constantly keep football fans updated with Sms' during the matches, as well as with video content and Mms'. As Silicon explains, marketers will take advantage of summer's sport events to make users discover the attractiveness of MMS. According to a new research by NOP, in the UK, 79 per cent of mobile users have never sent or received an MMS, a number which is pretty high, even if we have to say that a lot of people still haven't the technology to send multimedia messages.
I'm not actually sure technology is the only issue preventing users to send MMS. The service's price is also very important but the main reason that comes into my mind is: usefulness. Do users really have things to communicate that require a picture or a video? SMS already do an excellent job allowing people to keep in touch in a fast, cheap and immediate way. Do I need an MMS to tell a friend that I'm late? When I'm on vacation, do I really need an MMS to tell my friends I'm having fun?
MMS' are a cool service for news and entertainment, but I'm not sure they will be as successful in peer-to-peer communication.

May 13, 2004
Never underestimate wireless women

A new research by consulting firm Zelos Group found out that the wireless data and entertainment industry isn't paying attention to women and young adults. Despite the segments' interest in paying for mobile content, the services offered by the market aren't meeting their expectations.
As RCR Wireless News explains, a significant number of mobile games are focused on standard male interests like sports and warfare, while only a few pay attention to what women want.

Text me with local ads

Eight out of ten mobile phone users in Europe wouldn't mind receiving promotional offers and marketing messages via SMS. The surprising information comes out of a recent research by Empower Interactive, which found out that people will accept promotions about local entertainment and retail operations. Despite this trend, only few brands have started using mobile marketing as part of their promotional strategy. The news is reported on Revolution Magazine but the article lacks of important information to make the whole industry happy. People might be willing of receiving mobile coupons, messages concerning text & win campaigns, but we can't consequently assume they want to get messages simply saying "the new XXX product is out" or "wash your hands with XXX they will be softer than ever".
So the research doesn't come up with good news for the entire mobile marketing industry, rather for small medium businesses with a local reach.

Cellular TV Comes to Life

Cellular Tv is a step a away. This is what IMS Research believes in research report published this week. According to the press release presenting the report, Live TV over cellular services are forecast to be employed by more than 120 million users worldwide by the end of 2010.

Online marketing budgets are growing

According to the new 2004 IT Marketing Trends Study an estimated 45 percent of technology marketing budgets in 2004 will be spent online. Interviewed on Destination Crm, Mary Kelly, marketing director at Bitpipe (the company that carried out the research) said:

"Basically we've found a nice, solid shift to online marketing," says "I think the ability to optimize online campaigns and measure the results makes online lead-generation attractive to marketers."

May 12, 2004
Seth is back!

Seth Godin is one of my favourite marketing writers. Since 1999 his Permission Marketing has a special position in my books collection. Seth has recently published a new work, Free Prize Inside! which I have been honoured to receive directly from him. Its packaging was terrific (the book comes in a cereals box) but the content isn't less impressive. Think, act, create, in a sentence: make something happen.
I love Seth's writings because they provide you with energy. After reading them, I often feel like I can "conquer the world" with the next big idea. So if you're looking for a boost, don't miss Free Prize Inside!

Recently, Seth has also published an e-book which is available to download here. I'm very happy he has decided to include Adverblog in his review of useful blogs.

H&M;'s "Divided" online campaign

Swedish fashion brand H&M; will start next week an online campaign to promote its summer collection "Divided". Banners and pop-ups as well as the innovative i-Flash TV format will run through the main German web sites like Lycos, Freenet and Msn. As Horizont (in German) reports, i-Flash ads will contain mini interactive spots that will allow users to browse the new collection and immediately find further information about the products.

MMS' for football fans

German football fans can download the pictures (as MMS) of their favourite players directly to their mobile. The initiative, which runs a few weeks before the European Football Championship, is developed by MindMatics and sponsored by Ferrero's snacks, Duplo and Hanuta. As Net Tribune (in German) reports, users find in the snacks a collectible sticker with a the short code that allows them to request, with a premium rate SMS, the MMS picture of the player. A series of 28 players and trainers is available. The service costs 0,99 euro per picture.

Mobile: teenagers as evangelists

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.

The Matrix is online

In November Warner Bros will launch "The Matrix Online", an online multiplayer game where tens of thousands of players will be able to jack into the Matrix world to take an active role in continuing the saga of The Matrix movie trilogy. A marketing campaign will support the initiative, as explained in press release.

Spam: the wireless menace

Never underestimate the power of spam. Email marketing has been already weakened by unsolicited messages, wireless marketers can't suffer the same damage. We are still on time to prevent mobile spamming but we need to act fast, setting up guidelines to limit any abuse of the media. In the UK The Mobile Marketing Association has already taken a strong position to defend the industry, while in the US The Federal Communications Commission started two months ago collecting data and comments in order to issue guidelines for wireless ads. On MediaPost, Kate Kaye collected comments and numbers on the "wireless spam menace".
The message is clear: act before it's too late!

May 11, 2004
Introducing "Close Shaves" webisodes

In Canada, Schick has launched an eight-week webisode series to promote its Quattro Razor. As explained in the press release, there's also a contest connected to the initiative, a contest that will give away an Harley Davidson. Webisodes are Flash animated spots, where "Pistol Pete Madigan", a digital personality, engages viewers with his wit and satirical style as he explores the humorous side of men's issues. Schick is hoping to get positive results from the campaign viral effect.

May 10, 2004
What's the value of online ads?

Bob Tedeschi tries to answer on The New York Times, quoting data provided by the IAB, analysts' opinions and the example of Yahoo! which set up Consumer Direct, a new program intended to demonstratehow much Internet ads increase sales.

Online ads help Ford to sell

A new study by IAB explains that six percent of all sales of Ford's F-150 pickup truck can be attributed to online advertising. In an article on Advertising Age, Rich Stoddart, Ford's marketing communications manager explains the campaign's results, describing the elements used in promoting the pickup on the Web.

The "mobile" day after tomorrow

I don't like catastrophe movies. Life is already kind of hard, why should we watch a movie and face a dramatic future? This consideration takes me to the subject of this post: Indiagames and FOX L&M;'s Wireless Entertainment Group have signed an agreement to take "The Day After Tomorrow" to cellular phones. So, if you want to get scared about the future of the planet, you can simply use your mobile. The wireless content includes mobile games, wallpapers, screensavers, ring tones, voice ringers, and alerts. Vishal Gondal, CEO of Indiagames said on Wireless Developer Network:

"We are delighted to have the opportunity to develop wireless content based upon this movie. We are sure that people across the world will enjoy the opportunity to experience �The Day After Tomorrow� on their mobile devices."

Sorry, I will not sign up. But I'm eagerly waiting for the next mobile soap opera...

Euro 2004: it's like a SuperBowl

In less than a month the European Football Championship will kick off in Portugal. Advertisers are getting ready for the event which can be compared to the Super Bowl as a brilliant article on The International Herald Tribune explains. Reaching a pan-European audience is difficult but an event such Euro 2004 is expected to attract millions of consumers' eyes. Eight multinational brands have paid an estimated E20 million or more each to be "official partners" of Euro 2004, and dozen of other companies are running advertising campaigns or contests related to the event.

May 09, 2004
Ring me back (please)

European mobile carriers are investing a lot in ringback tones which are expected to boom this year. An article on New Media Age says UK operators have already issued guidelines to suppliers in order to receive the next "mobile gold" as soon as possible. Here in Italy I still haven't heard about it but I'm sure we will soon catch up.

The are a lot of players in the industry attracted by ringback tones, I mean, they are attracted by the revenue ringback tones are expected to generate. Music labels, in particular, are quickly discovering that mobile is the promised land that will save them from the mp3's curse.

May 08, 2004
Text & win with Schwarzkopf

Schwarzkopf has launched an SMS marketing campaign in Germany, Austria and Switzerland to promote its brand and its products. The initiative will involve over 6000 hair salons where users will find questions to be answered with their mobile phone. In case of winning, the prize will be immediately awarded.

KLM: dream & win

KLM has just launched, for the umpteenth time, an online competition that allows people to win plane tickets.
I do like the use of online competitions to get people's attention, but I believe KLM is pushing too hard on this marketing solution. I'm becoming sick of getting email from KLM (twice a month, maybe more), telling me I can win and travel around the world for free.

SMS alerts for delayed trains

The train you are waiting for is late? If you're in Switzerland or in The Netherlands, you can be notified via SMS and waste no time waiting at the train station. New alert services are becoming available through Europe (you can also get timetables delivered to your phone), but it's rather unlikely they will arrive in my country (Italy) in the near future. We are passionate about mobile communication, but we also have trains that are always late: such an alert service will be too expensive, both for users and for providers...

May 07, 2004
Show your butt and win a car

Daewoo and Sloggi, an unusual partnership to launch a contest to win the car with the best body. Developed by LaMarque Amsterdam, the campaign aims to reach a younger audience than the usual Matiz' one. As Emerce (in Dutch) explains, women who want to enter the competition have to send the photograph of their buttocks. If you go to you can vote for the best pictures, and get tips to improve your fitness. The best rated will win a Daewoo Matiz. To support the online competition, Daewoo will send out 3 million brochures.

Note of the editor: this competition could only be hosted in The Netherlands, homeland of the Big Brother...

Operation Enduring Freedom (from pop-ups)

After the Rich Media Task Force, we have the Pop-up Task Force. I love (!?) Americans taking everything as a question of life or death. Why don't we simply call it "Operation Enduring Freedom (from pop-ups)"?
On MediaPost, Jim Meskauskas talks about the latest guidelines presented by the IAB to help users and the industry managing the "pop-up question".
Let's wait and see when the Anti-Spam Task Force will be created...

May 05, 2004
Less calories, more brand

AdAge reports about a successful online initiative by Snapple that used behavioural targeting to increase the awareness of its brand. According to the results provided by Dynamic Logic, the campaign was a success, delivering brand awareness of 76%; brand favorability of 36%; and purchase intent of 37%. The ads run on iVillage targeting a specific audience of "calorie-conscious" women.

Sprite launches 'Thirst Out'

"Thirst Out" is Sprite's under-the-cap promotion which started last Saturday. As explained in the press release, the soft drink brand will offer 52 million prizes in a campaign that will last eight months. Partners is the initiative are Blockbuster and Musicmatch which will provide prizes including mobile phone ringtones, movies and videogames and free music downloads.

IAB: call for feedback

A couple of months ago, IAB issued the guidelines for rich media formats developed by the "Rich Media Task Force". Now IAB has called for a feedback from the industry, asking marketers, agencies and publishers to fill in a form and share their opinions. To learn more about the initiative, go on MediaPost.

May 03, 2004
SMS: humble but powerful

I was impressed by a sentence I read on The Age: "the mobile phone's most humble application - SMS, or Short Message Service - has finally attracted the attention of big business". I wasn't surprised by the content itself but rather by the use of the adjective "humble" to define SMS. If you think about it, it's true. SMS is just about 160 characters of text, something that isn't complex at all if compared to MMS, mobile video, mobile games or whatever else you want to name.
A part from this initial consideration, the article is interesting, because it talks the potentials of wireless marketing in Australia. reinforcing its brand is about to launch a massive multi-channel campaign to promote its brand. Efforts will include Tv advertising and local promotions through newspapers. Of course, there will also be an integrated online marketing campaign to deliver the message to the Internet audience. As explained in the press release the creative, developed by Tribal DDB will run on sites like and Specific keywords will also be bought on search engines,

May 01, 2004
Baseball and wireless entertainment

In the United States, Major League Baseball's Oakland Athletics has launched an in-stadium mobile messaging application that allows fans to text vote and participate in live interactive contests during the A's three-game series against the Anaheim Angels. With the technology provided by NetInformer, During the games fans can use their mobile phones to answer trivia questions appearing on the mega screen. As explained in the press release, everyone who partecipates will receive a mobile coupon for a discount on their next ticket purchase, and a lucky fan will win four free tickets.

Are looking for more cool interactive ideas? Check the archives

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