WirelessWatch for August 22, 2003

SMS Drops the Box Office Flops Even Faster

The UK Independent, LA Times and Christian Science Monitor are all running stories reporting that cell phone use has accelerated the flop-rate of the Summer’s worst box office flops.

Citing such recent silver screen disasters as “The Hulk,” “2 Fast 2 Furious” and “Gigli,” the articles point out that the decline in ticket sales for the Summer’s lowest-performing films has come more quickly than in years past.

Historically, film studios have been able to count on a lag of one week or more for word to spread about just how bad their worst films are. No longer. Ticket sales tracking firm Nielsen EDI is reporting that this Summer’s major releases have fallen an average of 51 percent between their first week and their second, an increase of 11 percent over five years ago. “The Hulk” this year suffered a 69.7 percent drop, “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” fell 62.8 percent, and “Gigli” plummeted by a record 81.9 percent.

Word-of-mouth buzz — positive or negative — has always been a big factor in the success of any film. The Web and especially SMS “word of thumb” have only sped up this process, sending popular movies skyrocketing more quickly while bringing down the most-hated films almost instantaneously.

Nokia Hardly Hanging Up on Online Gaming

Nokia Tuesday sought to broaden its horizons for online gaming when it purchased the rights to Sega.com for an undisclosed amount and unveiled its first service using features from its new acquisition.

A leading mobile phone maker who sees gaming on its gadgets as the key to future success, Finland’s Nokia made the move to harness Sega.com technology for its own Nokia N-Gage game deck, giving it the ability to create content, which was not previously possible on the system.

Online games that support many players have become increasingly popular as more and more customers have picked up cable or broadband connections to the Internet. Combine those factors with the increased demand for gaming on the go and Nokia believes its new acquisition will bolster the value proposition of its game deck.

“For the first time, a gamer sitting in a park in London can find another player and ‘shadow race’ against a player in Los Angeles or even Singapore,” said Ilkka Raiskinen, senior VP and the chief N-Gager, Nokia Mobile Phones.

by Clint Boulton, originally published on InternetNews.com. Read the entire story here.

Enpocket Turns a Profit

Mobile marketing company Enpocket has returned its first operating profit since its launch in September 2001.

The company, which develops mobile marketing for operators, media owners, marketers and their agencies, said the profit comes six months earlier than it had forecast.

Enpocket has been a pioneer in defining how mobile marketing is best deployed, setting standards and delivering hundreds of successful campaigns. Many of the largest international brands have become Enpocket clients, including Levi’s, Doritos, Honda, Expedia, Cadbury’s and Claritas.

The company has offices in London, New York and Los Angeles.

A New Opt-in Channel for SMS Marketers

[August 22, 2003] Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based SMS Media Group (SMSMG) has launched a mobile content service that sends special offers in the form of a text message from select merchants to subscribers’ cell phones.

Called Moffers, the new marketing channel is one of SMSMG’s approximately 30 mobile content offerings that are delivered to cellular subscribers throughout North America.

Once received by a mobile user, Moffers can be redeemed online or in person at a local participating retailer. Early featured Merchants include Spiegel, Domestications.com and Sony Music Direct.

“The mobile phone is a convenient way for consumers to be reminded of retail sales and keep their Moffers readily available for use,” said Sheri Wells, SMSMG’s CTO.

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

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