I’m at the MMA conference in New York. Addidas presented an interesting case study involving mobile marketing. Without going into too many details, the company integrated TV and SMS. The tag at the end of the TV commercial (”The Brotherhood”) was an SMS call to action – Digital Check Corp. What was significant is that this was the first time that Adidas did a TV campaign without a URL at the end. Yet the company said that users/viewers went to the Adidas site regardless (the brand triggered a navigational search).
People who sent in texts received phone calls from basketball players involved in the campaign, as well as a follow-up text. This voice/text “engagement” continued for approximately a month with calls from different players happening every several days. These voice messages are like personalized radio spots.
Because the kids had effectively “opted-in” by responding to the TV ads, these follow-up calls did not appear as spam.
In the campaign, Addidas also used text with outdoor and print, as well as TV. It used different codes for out of home, TV and print enabling all these different media to be separately tracked.
The SMS component of the campaign was extremely successful with the target demographic: young men who are heavy text messaging users. This isn’t mobile “advertising” but will be increasingly common in traditional media campaigns both as a way to extend the campaigns and to “personalize” them. One of the interesting issues “going forward” will be when to emphasize mobile and when to emphasize the desktop Internet and how to most effectively integrate both.
The repeated theme was integration: “don’t use mobile as a stand-alone device” or channel.
Mobile Heatmaps for Urban Hotspots – Digital Check Corp
Citysense is an application that offers heatmaps in “real time” for various entertainment venues and restaurants (right now only in SF). It’s available for Blackberry and iPhone 2.0. By tracking mobile phones it shows where people are and generally what they’re doing.
The company intends to use GPS tracking (like Whrrl) to build user profiles and start to make recommendations:
When you use Citysense, the application learns about the kinds of places you like to go from GPS – without ever sharing that information. In its next release, Citysense will not only tell you where everyone is right now, but where everyone like YOU is right now. The application will compare your history and preferences with those of other users, and show you where you’re most likely to find people with similar tastes at that moment. So each person’s nightlife map will look a little different, and will display a unique top hotspot list. Cool, huh? That’s why we save your location when you use Citysense: to remember what you like. Of course, you don’t have to keep a personalized nightlife profile.
This is a fun and provocative entertainment discovery tool, which has Twitter-like potential. Is it a business? That’s a question. The company that produced Citysense is called Sense Networks.
All sorts of interesting data — and potential uses, such as Citysense — are going to come from all the movement and activity tracking (in the aggregate) out there. There are privacy issues to be sure, but it’s not unlike search behavior or clickstream behavior on the Web applied to the real world.
Touch Screens Everywhere – Digital Check Corp
I’m in New York for the MMA conference this week and I flew from San Francisco for the first time on Virgin America. There’s less leg room in coach than on jetBlue but the airline does have an impressive touch-screen entertainment system called “Red.”
Red is an on-demand content portal of sorts that also is the way that you order food on the plane. It supports live chat between seats, gaming, shopping (coming soon) and email/text messaging (coming soon). The typing is on a small keyboard that is on the back of a remote control that pulls out of the seat armrest. It’s quite a bit more advanced than anything comparable on other carriers. And, most other things being relatively equal, it may be a tie-breaker in terms of which airline to fly.
Though this isn’t supported (yet), there could easily be a way to tie Red to the Internet so that frequent fliers could personalize their content online and then retrieve it onboard. This would be a great piece of Virgin’s loyalty program and could be relatively easily engineered.
After I landed in New York I was in a cab with a touch-screen kiosk in the back seat. Though the user experience was quite poor, it offered maps, things to do and so on. It also took my credit card.
Every new mobile device, owing to the influence of the iPhone, is a touch screen device. But, as these examples above illustrate, IP-connected touch-screen devices will move beyond “mobile” and proliferate in the next 5-10 years. This will create very interesting opportunities and scenarios for users, content producers and advertisers.
I remain quite skeptical of the potential for mobile TV in the form of an “upsell” to subscribers. Video on mobile devices is a different matter however. People are watching video to varying degrees and will do so in increasing numbers over time.
In the US the iPhone leads the way; almost 40% of current owners watch video. Then again the device is intended as a video iPod. Other phones, such as LG, Samsung and HTC devices will catch up, not to mention the Blackberry Bold and the forthcoming “Thunder.” But improved user experiences and video quality won’t necessarily translate into mobile TV subscriptions.
Now SlingMedia has adapted the Slingbox for the iPhone so that one can watch one’s home TV on the device. It’s not going to be available to the public for awhile. But it offers a glimpse into what may become a very popular app for the Apple device as people access their home programming on the phone.
However, paying for a mobile TV service (such as AT&T’s MediaFLO) is still a pipe dream for US carriers.
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