Wireless promotion has made mobile the third most popular 'screen' with people after television and computers. And as this medium gains momentum, it's time for some innovation too.
Coca-Cola India and Mobile2Win have joined hands for the launch of India's first ever-branded mobile game - The Everest Challenge -- for their flagship brand, Thums Up, adopting wireless medium as a mainstream communication tool to connect with consumers.
"Wireless gaming in India is expanding at a phenomenal rate and finds huge favour with our core target group. It's an immensely engaging medium that helps create a high level of interaction with the brand. The Thums Up Everest Challenge Game not only helps reinforce the promotion but also take it to a larger audience," said Abhijit Datta, Brand Manager, Coca-Cola India, who has spearheaded this campaign.
Rajiv Hiranandani, Country Head, Mobile2Win, said, "Wireless promotion rides on the popularity of mobile games. The mobile screen has become an entertainment device, more than just a voice and SMS tool. This therefore makes for a good vehicle for brands to utilise rather than just basic SMS contests. The visual appeal of a mobile game makes for some innovative branding opportunities, which Thums Up has utilised well."
On the other hand, Formula 1 racing is creating excitement with the Indian audiences of late, especially with Narain Karthikeyan finishing 11th at the Malaysian Grand Prix and 15th at the Australian Grand Prix.
Cashing in on this, Foster's has tied up with Mobile2win for an innovative SMS initiative for the F1 season. Consumers send 'FOSTERS' as an SMS to 8558 and get a menu giving live updates of F1 races. This is the first time that any brand is using F1 alerts in real time as a promotional vehicle.
"The aim is to provide an easy access info corner to the audience and SMS is the best way to do so. In addition, it's an effective marketing tool for brand building and reinforcing brand image," commented Pradeep Gidwani, MD, Foster's India.
Moving on, Active Media, another player in the interactive mobile applications segment, has been selected as Doordharshan's technical partner for SMS interactivity for the Indo-Pak One Day Internationals. More than five lakh viewers poured in SMS messages on short code 3636 on the opening day of the series. It is for the first time that Doordarshan is promoting SMS interactivity for its viewers, which is in the form of contests, opinion polls, best wishes, downloads, etc.
Said Sudhir Tandon, Doordarshan's Deputy Director General, "Doordarshan has always emphasised on audience participation for its programmes. With changing technology, the interactivity format for TV programmes has evolved beyond phone calls and emails to the mobile phone. Speed and convenience of use provides SMS interactivity with a personal touch of a much higher level than other modes of audience participation."
Raj Singh, Executive Director, ActiveMedia Technology, said, "Initially, people viewed mobile marketing as simply the ability to send someone a text message. However, we have moved forward to thinking of mobile as an interactivity tool and as a powerful direct marketing channel."
Interestingly, with the explosion of gizmos and explicit content all around, parents seem a wary lot. According to a recent Outlook-Synovate study, over 60 per cent parents gave a thumbs-down to Internet and mobile phones for teenagers.
Still, its reach is growing day by day. There are 54 million mobile phone subscribers currently and the user base is expected to cross 120 million by the end of 2006. And the responses clearly indicate that this technology is taking precedence with all age groups.