Wireless Watch for October 24, 2003

Coca-Cola Tucks SMS Under the Cap

[October 24, 2003] Coca-Cola’s popular teen music and chat site Cokemusic.com is incorpoarating SMS into a Fall 2003 under-the-cap promotion in the U.S.

Powered by Mobliss, the national promotion lets consumers enter cap codes using their mobile phones and accrue points, or “decibels,” in registered accounts on Cokemusic.com. Consumers build their virtual account by submitting unique cap codes from marked bottles to the common short code “2653” (COKE). They can then visit Cokemusic.com to enter for chances to win prizes.

Coke has tried under-the-cap promotions in conjunction with Cokemusic.com before, but this is the first time it has integrated SMS with its music-focused Web destination for teens. The site would appear to be the ideal vessel for an offline text messaging promotion, because of its large base of fanatical, Web-savvy teens.

“With this new SMS component, teens have a more convenient way to enter cap codes from specially marked packages. We want to provide as many ways as possible for our consumers to participate in Cokemusic.com,” said Doug Rollins, associate brand manager for Coca-Cola.

The promotion will run through the end of the year, and the SMS component is open to all consumers with wireless service through ALLTEL, AT&T Wireless, Cingular Wireless, Cricket Communications, Nextel Communications, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless.

Acotel Launches in the U.S.

[October 24, 2003] Looking to replicate its success in Europe, Acotel, an Italian maker of wireless platforms for carriers and media companies, launched in the United States today.

The company, not to be confused with the French telecom equipment maker with a similar name, has established its U.S. base in Boston and a sales office in New York. The official announcement came at the CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment 2003 trade show in Las Vegas.

The 11-year-old company (which is publicly traded in Italy) operates in 20 countries. Its customers include IBM, Orange, Radio Hit Channel, Telecom Italia Mobile, Vodafone, and interestingly, the Vatican, which uses the Acotel’s platform to distribute a daily message from the Pope.

One reason for targeting the United States now is wireless user trends. Four to six month ago, the United States lagged far behind Europe and Asia in subscriber numbers. But that’s changing. The number of wireless users in the United States has topped 150 million, and operators are moving toward standards that support audio and video.

– by Colin Haley, originally published on InternetNews.com. Read the entire story here.

A Mobile Community for Hockey Fans

[October 24, 2003] Mobile services firm Mobileway and wireless communities developer Mobiico have launched a mobile community for the National Hockey Leage (NHL). Hockey fans who register for the program on NHL.com can vote for game MVPs, chat with other fans, answer NHL trivia questions and get last-minute ticket alerts for specified teams.

“In combining our fans’ passion with this technology, we believe we’ve created another great portal,” said Keith Ritter, president of NHL’s Interactive Cyber Enterprises division.

Ford Pairs Direct Mail and SMS to Launch Ka

[October 24, 2003] Ford Motor Company is promoting awareness of the Ford Ka in the U.K. with a combination direct mail/SMS campaign with an e-mail follow-up. The effort was developed by Wunderman and mobile marketing firm Flytxt.

By texting in unique codes printed on postcards, recipients are entered into a grand prize draw for a shopping trip to New York. The postcards feature the Ka and encourage recipients to consider it when shopping for a new car. The campaign particularly targets young female drivers who may be looking to purchase their first new car.

“We hope that this campaign will mark the first of many initiatives to promote the Ford Ka range in a fresh way,” said Claire Jonker of Wunderman.

In order to qualify for the promotion, customers must also text in their e-mail addresses, which Ford will use for future communications.

P&G Targets U.K. Moms with SMS

British mobile marketing firm Aerodeon last month launched an SMS campaign promoting Procter & Gamble’s Ariel washing powder. The effort uses TV commercials as a call-to-action, encouraging viewers to obtain a free sample of the product by sending a text message. Consumers select via SMS which product variant they would prefer.

Because the campaign’s target audience is U.K. mothers, the companies said a high response rate would debunk the popular notion that SMS is a youth medium.

“This campaign is further evidence that text messaging has ‘grown up’ as a marketing tool and is no longer the sole preserve of youth marketers,” commented Aerodeon Managing Director Chris Bourke.

For more wireless marketing coverage, please visit WirelessAdWatch.com.

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