Mobile marketing is fast catching on as an innovative approach to increase returns at low cost and provide the right brand enhancement and differentiation. On December 4, Max is launching SingTone, an interactive SMS service that would enable viewers to indulge in their love of Hindi movie songs. SingTone will allow viewers to download tunes of popular songs from movies to their mobile phones, even as they are watching the song in the movie being telecast on Max.
Max is the only channel in its genre to offer this service. To download the 'SingTone', viewers will have to follow simple instructions that will appear on the channel when the song is being shown. All that a viewer has to do is to type a text message – ‘RT SONGCODE’ and SMS it to 2525. There will be different song codes for different songs.
Says Tushar Shah, Vice-President (Marketing), “The Max brand promise is ‘Deewana Bana De’ and we constantly innovate and add value to our viewership by taking on programming initiatives such as Extraa Innings, Extraa Shots and finally Mera Movie (movies with just one break.). Carrying this tradition further, we are launching SingTone, which would allow viewers to download tunes of popular movies on to their mobile phone, as they are watching the film. Our effort differs from what’s out there, because we are essentially showcasing a mix of what’s current and what belongs to yesteryear. So if you have a movie, which belongs to the ‘70s, you can download the ringtones of that particular movie. We have chalked out a list of popular movies and a list of songs in them which could be downloaded as ringtones.”
The entire initiative will be promoted on all the One Alliance channels, be it Sony, AXN or Max. “Keeping the mobile revolution in mind, it was imperative that we take on this kind of an exercise. The baseline is songs at home and ringtones on the move. In the past too, we took on various contests and other promotional initiatives through the short code 2525 which met with considerable success. Our technology partners are Mobile2Win. We acquired the code towards August 2003 and since then have derived maximum mileage out of it,” Shah said.
He goes on to say, “It’s a strategic move on our part, rather than a short term one. Our aim is to build a bond with our viewer, and that’s the mileage that we are really looking at. As a result of us acquiring the short code 2525, we have ties with nearly all the cellular operators (the charge for the service differs from operator to operator). Such an initiative underlines our commitment to Hindi cinema, and the magnificent library of titles that we have acquired over time.”
Are there fixed titles that Max has chalked out for this effort? He answers, “Yes and we would be reviewing these titles on a monthly basis. The differentiation for us, as compared to what’s offered by portals and cellular entities, is that we are offering a mix of old and new. Its not just contemporary Hindi music that we are offering as ringtones, its also retro music.”
NP Singh, CFO – SET India and Business Head – Max, says, “SingTone is yet another interactive innovation from Max and is aimed at delivering on the channel’s promise of ‘Deewana bana de’. Max is the only channel in its genre to introduce this form of interactivity on a consistent basis.”
It is estimated that cellular connections in India will reach 56 million, by the end of 2005 representing around 96 per cent growth over the current year. This spells good fortunes for marketers and media houses like Max, which plan to ride on the telecom wave.