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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > articles >  Cell Phone Or Sell Phone?

Cell Phone Or Sell Phone?

Posted on July 30, 2002 and read 12,352 times

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In just a short time the cellular phone went from a business man’s luxury to every man and woman’s necessity. Gone are the days the of the bulky ‘brick’ phone. These devices have gotten so small and affordable that everyone has one, or at least it seems that way. So, it was only a matter of time before some keen entrepreneurs began to look at the marketing possibilities of this mass method of communication.

There are numerous mobile marketing initiatives currently in motion (in addition those already failed). Marketers and investors alike find themselves teetering on the edge, anxious to jump in. They don’t want to miss out on the next ‘dot com’ boom, but are equally afraid of the next ‘dot com’ bust. So who will prevail? Gary Shwartz, CEO of Impact Mobile feels that his company will end up on top with their unique ‘pull’ style of cellular marketing campaigns.

Copy heavy campaigns

Impact Mobile Marketing has developed a system which allows for an all out inter-active campaign driven by the S.M.S. (short-message-service) feature on mobile phones. So what does this mean for the end user? When taking part in these campaigns they will receive and send text messages on their phone. And what does this mean for the advertiser? If this takes off, those clever visual puns, which have made their way into all of the award annuals just won’t cut it.

Time Machine

It’s no secret that Canada is behind the times when it comes to cutting-edge technology. Being third or forth in line for the next high tech gadget or technology does have its benefits. Technologically speaking, getting on a plane bound for Europe is like stepping into a time machine. Entrepreneurs like Gary are given the opportunity to see what flourished and what flopped in places such as the United Kingdom.

Anyone for SPAM?

I remember when I got my first piece of SPAM e-mail years ago. It was a touching moment. As I opened my brand new e-mail account I found a message telling me that I had won a wonderful trip to somewhere exotic. The offer lost its luster though, when I discovered that it was no prize, but instead digital junk-mail.

I immediately thought that mobile marketing was simply wireless junk-mail until Gary explained the concept of a ‘pull’ campaign. It’s where you give the end user control of their participation, if any at all. A prime example of this is a European Cadbury campaign, which had customers dial a short-code found inside the wrapper of their chocolate snack. Instantly users would be sent back a message telling them “You are winner!!” or “Thanks for Playing”. They would also be given the option to opt into future campaigns. It should be noted that Cadbury actually saw its highest sales in the history of the company during the month of this campaign.

No strings attached

As much as Canadian advertisers like to appear cutting edge, hiding behind thick rimmed glasses and black turtle necks, we really are a conservative bunch. For years the ‘complete’ campaign had typically consisted of print, outdoor, radio and TV, sometimes complimented by or followed with direct mail. But mobile marketing, where does that fit into the equation? Simply put, one of the main reasons we might bite into this, is that we have no reason not to, as there’s no risk involved. Mobile marketing ‘pull’ campaigns work off of a pay by participation module. This means that if no one bothers to dial the contest code, then very minimal costs are incurred. (Also, due to the personalized nature of participation, tracking people from one campaign to the next couldn’t be easier.)

Gary says that it will be early next year when we see our first Canadian mobile marketing campaign. A client and agency team will step up and be the first, there is no doubt about that. They will be regarded by some as pioneers and as fools by others, but at the end of the day the only thing that will really matter is the statistics, the hard and fast, but more importantly the exact numbers that this campaign will produce.

Brendan Watson
Events Editor

  • maurice Kitchen

    I had the pleasure of working with Mr. Pytka on 4 commercials, where singers were required, including the so called infamous Madonna Pepsi Commercials. Reading this article gave me a deeper insight into what I observed. It was a great experience and I learned a lot as a director myself. In addition to being good at what he does, in talking to some of the other singers and musicians and crew, I learned that he is I also a loyal and principled person.




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