MTV Mobile App

TV has rolled out an interactive MTV News application providing users access to this year’s MTV Movie awards, as well as up-to-date pop culture news.

The application is available for free on the iPhone and iPod touch.In addition, the iPad version will be available soon.

“MTV is creating addictive digital experiences for viewers by creating and curating content with MTV’s distinct voice to super serve our audience’s passion,” said Mike Scogin, vice president of wireless at MTV, New York.

“The strategy behind the MTV News app is about making our content as accessible as possible and reaching our audience on the platforms they are spending their time,” he said. “Mobile is where our audience is, and where our advertisers want to be. MTV’s hyper-connected audience is ages 12 – 35.”


Users can browse by several topics, including TV, music, movies, celebrity and gaming news articles, video and photo content.
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MTV fans can get behind-the-scenes mobile access to major events, beginning with the 2010 MTV Movie Awards, which airs on June 6.

Leading up to the show, the application updates exclusive content, starting with a live video stream of the red carpet construction. Users can also watch the live footage of the red carpet arrivals, backstage happenings and the after-party. In addition, users can watch video clips of the best moments “

The MTV News app will be promoted on MTV.com, the MTV Movie Awards homepage, social media outreach through Twitter and Facebook and through

Victoria’s Secret runs mobile campaign for new Chicago store

As part of a stealth push begun earlier this year nationwide, lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret is now running a mobile campaign to drive traffic to a new store opening this week in Chicago.

The mobile components comprise SMS and Bluetooth to direct foot traffic to the new Victoria’s Secret store opening Thursday, Oct. 22 on Chicago’s prestigious Michigan Avenue between Chicago and Superior streets.

Outdoor media including posters and billboards have different messages to encourage passersby to opt in to receive news, information and alerts as well as coupons for Victoria’s Secret merchandise. 
Victoria’s Secret is the nation’s leading maker and retailer of lingerie, melding technology, models and media to generate interest in its merchandise, store openings and events.

The campaign effort for Chicago includes outdoor, online and mobile media.

For example, one 48-inches-by-70-inches poster shows a statuesque Victoria’s Secret model wearing nothing but black lingerie and a come-hither look. The headline reads, “Victoria’s Secret Michigan Avenue between Chicago & Superior.” A line below says, “Now open.”

Copy on the outdoor ad reads, “Go to VSChicago.com to vote for Chicago’s sexiest people and places (and get a free panty when you buy a bra).” The mobile callout reads: “Text CHICAGO to ANGEL (26435) for exclusive mobile offers and alerts.”

Texting that common short code returns this message: “UR signed up 4 Victoria’s Secret alerts! Look 4 offers & new product info. Up to 8 msg/mth. Reply STOP to cancel. Reply HELP for Help. Msg&Data rates may apply”.

These text messages will comprise alerts as well as special offers and coupons for consumers to redeem online or in-store.
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Another poster of the same size and with the identical image and headline has copy that reads, “Activate Bluetooth outside our new Michigan Avenue store for free downloads and offers.”

Once consumers accept a Bluetooth invitation, they will get a jpeg visual coupon which they can show in the store and get access to a promotion. Plans may also call for a video.

The BlueZone is powered by 5th Finger, the San Francisco-based mobile marketing firm that is handling the Victoria’s Secret ongoing mobile programs nationwide as well as this new Chicago push.

In addition, the retailer is running another outdoor ad pushing Bluetooth downloads, this one with a sultry model in only lace panties. The headline reads, “Angel zone ahead. Activate Bluetooth for free downloads and offers.”

The Bluetooth effort is new for Victoria’s Secret. The text and Bluetooth effort are part of a national loyalty program run by Victoria’s Secret to build its opted-in mobile database.
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The retailer is fast becoming adept at using other media to drive traffic to mobile and vice versa.

Visitors to the site at http://www.vschicago.com will see a video of Victoria’s Secret models sashaying down the ramp during a fashion show. Once the brief clip is over, the page settles to a shot of a model next to a calendar countdown.

The site’s homepage is headlined, “The wings have landed on Michigan Avenue.” Copy reads, “Take your pic in front of the wings and text or email to Angel@VSChicago.com.”

Next to that copy is a link to a legal page and also a box to upload pictures taken preferably with the mobile phone to the site.

Below that copy is an image of the store on 734 North Michigan Avenue. Clicking on the link takes consumers to another page with a larger graphic of the store as it would look. Copy touts the glamour and luxury on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile as well as the concierge, VIP fitting rooms, personal shopping and courier services.

A section on the same site allows visitors to sign up for email and mobile alerts. The SMS alerts require consumers to enter their first and last names and mobile number and check a box to signify opt in. The obligatory disclaimer with STOP for SMS opt out is mentioned.

Victoria’s Secret is also encouraging mobile signups through emails sent to its opted-in database of customers and prospects.

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 The latest campaign comes five months after Victoria’s Secret launched a dedicated mobile Web site, with concurrent plans to target its mobile database of opted-in consumers with exclusive offers, event coverage and new product information.

Consumers can sign up for alerts on the mobile site at http://mobile.victoriassecret.com or text the keyword START to the short code 26435 (ANGEL).

All text message communication with consumers will include a link to the mobile site to drive consumers there.
The Victoria’s Secret mobile site features different categories and shopping bags.

Gift cards can be bought right from the mobile site. Consumers can also locate and map the closest Victoria’s Secret store to them.

What’s most impressive about the site is that women can actually browse and then buy products right from their mobile phones, with the same secure settings that the retailer’s Web site provides.

Of course, it helps to retain some of the same sass that is seen at Victoria’s Secret fashion shows. For example, the main menu on the mobile site offers visitors a list of the “Most Wanted Bras.”

Mobile Outlook for 2010

Is it too early to begin looking ahead to 2010?

Marketers understand the need to integrate mobile into their multichannel branding, customer acquisition and customer retention plans.

Several trends are emerging as mobile matures into a medium that, while not without flaws, is a more palatable option than other marketing channels in use.

I believe the emphasis should be on mobile’s complementary nature – it gives legs to other channels, including retail, online, television, print, coupons, radio, outdoor, direct mail and insert media.
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Top of my trends list is the consumer’s growing comfort with consuming news and content on mobile phones, along with exchanging SMS text messages, shopping for products and services, checking email, playing games, conducting mobile banking transactions and searching for retail locations or driving directions.

Indeed, the mobile channel’s use as a location-enabling tool is quickly becoming evident to brands, ad agencies, retailers and, most importantly, consumers.

Marketers must remember that mobile cannot be treated like other mass mediums out there.
Mobile is a highly personal channel, with attendant sensitivities and double opt-in permission requirements.

So it’s not the quantity that should matter for marketers looking to incorporate mobile into their multichannel marketing plans. It’s the quality and that’s where mobile excels.

While the economy could be better, that hasn’t stopped consumers from quickly shifting to mobile many tasks that previously were conducted on computers.

The choice for marketers and ad agencies then is not to deliberate whether to have an SMS program or mobile banner ads or a mobile Web site or a mobile coupon program or a .mobi domain or an iPhone/BlackBerry/Android application.

Instead, the decision to be made is which one of these options or a combination of options is relevant for the brand in its efforts to reach consumers through multiple, relevant touch points.

Smart marketers and agencies will think like smart fishermen: fish where the fish are.
Consumers have already moved to mobile, and are on mobile to stay!

Marketers should focus this year and next on using mobile to build databases of consumers who have opted in not once but twice to receive targeted offers, alerts and information from marketers.

One more thought…a marketer without a mobile loyalty program in 2010 will risk losing customers to competitors who have such efforts in place.

Mobile Marketing, The Big Picture

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Years from now, when the mobile phone really is the remote control for life, historians will best be in position to gauge the 2007-09 contributions of Steve Jobs and Apple’s iPhone.

One may argue that the iPhone did more for the advancement of mobile marketing than any other piece of hardware.

According to a recent survey from Crowd Science, 38 percent of smart phone owners who don’t own an Apple iPhone would “probably” or “definitely” switch when making their next purchase. That article isn’t looking to demystify the iPhone, but it does aim to highlight an important point: Despite the unbounded enthusiasm for the device and the mania surrounding its mobile applications, the iPhone represents only a small fraction of today’s opportunity for marketers.
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As of the end of second-quarter 2009, Apple had sold “only” 26 million iPhones, according to Apple (I agree the number is incredibly impressive, but let me finish). What this means is that there are approximately 244 million mobile phone subscribers in the U.S. who are not using the iPhone, according to statistics provided by CTIA.

Translation: If you are dedicating a significant amount of your marketing budget and effort to targeting just 9 percent of your potential audience, you’re selling yourself short.

The reality is that mobile marketing is not a one-hit wonder, but rather a robust pyramid comprised of several layers that individually and collectively can elevate a brand’s awareness and drive positive consumer action. At the bottom is SMS. According to CTIA, more than 160 million people in the U.S. are on a text plan and the average age of a “texter” is 38. Taking these numbers into account it should surprise no one to discover that SMS gives brands the greatest reach and taps into the behaviors and interests of hundreds of millions, all through a simple 160-character message. SMS is a proven mobile-marketing weapon that is driving brand awareness right now.
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As you move up the pyramid, the next layer introduces mobile Web/WAP sites. According to the Kelsey Group, there are 54.5 million mobile Internet users on a regular basis. Add to that the fact that more than 172 million phones are capable of browsing the Web and it’s easy to the see the value these sites can bring to a brand.

Moving up the pyramid, you come to the social networking tier. Did you know that in January alone, comScore reports more than 27 million people accessed a social networking site from their mobile phone? Furthermore, experts from CCS Insight recently released the results of “Report on Mobile Internet Usage, 2009,” which found that a third of young adults are regularly accessing Facebook and Twitter from their mobile phones. By creating a branded Facebook page, companies can connect with this audience, giving them a chance to engage with the brands they care about as well as other brand devotees, all from their mobile phone.

On the next tier of our pyramid resides the mobile banner ad. The banner has been a core component of online advertising campaigns for years and now is making its mark in the mobile world. One example is Wiley Publishing. As part of its mobile marketing campaign, the makers of the For Dummies series launched a series of banners ads that in about three months delivered more than 1.3 million impressions and produced a 1.4 percent click-through rate, which is four times that of the more traditional online component, according to Wiley. This superior click-through rate agrees with findings from Verizon Wireless, which at the 2009 Mobile Advertising Degree conference shared its experiences. Specifically, Verizon found its mobile banner ad click-though rates to be 2 percent, compared to the .3 percent achieved from the online counterparts.

The final layer of the mobile-marketing pyramid ironically brings us right back to where we started — the mobile application. While it’s true that the number of iPhone users pales in comparison to the total number of mobile users, the fact is that adoption is growing and the power and influence of these applications will undoubtedly follow suit. Add to that the emergence of the BlackBerry App Store, the Google Android Application Store and the upcoming releases of the Windows Marketplace for Mobile (the new application store for Windows Mobile) and it’s easy to see how mobile applications will become more pervasive and influential. In fact, Jupiter reports that revenues from mobile applications will top $25 billion by 2014.

The mobile phone may fit nicely into your pocket, but mobile marketing’s limits reach much farther. Whether your brand taps into one layer or all layers, the opportunities exist to drive your brand to new heights, and the iPhone is just part of the equation.

Want a Deeper Connection? Apps Are Where It’s At

Marketers are going beyond text alerts and mobile websites to offer richer, more-engaging experiences

Got time to kill?

Use your phone to catch up on the latest news from The New York Times while waiting in line at the grocery store, or in the service-free subway. Trade stocks while spending an afternoon in the park. Immediately find the best restaurants within a five-block radius while traveling in an unfamiliar city. Or pass the time doodling on a digital scribble pad during those late-evening conference calls.

All are examples of mobile applications that are making our lives more convenient and amusing by providing easy access to information and entertainment. In our busy lives, applications make us more efficient and make time pass more enjoyably.

And while many mobile marketers are focusing on creating SMS-text-alert programs with marginal impact and shallow mobile campaign sites, savvy marketers are realizing that mobile applications can be a great way to create significant lifts in brand affinity, brand recall and future purchase intent.

Providing this value creates deeper connections between brands and their customers. As the capabilities of mobile applications have become more advanced in the past year, brands and agencies have positioned themselves to create more-compelling user experiences on mobile devices. These branded applications, in turn, help enrich service offerings that handset manufacturers are already providing to customers, such as Apple’s App Store on iTunes and Nokia’s WidSets.

As a result, handset manufacturers are creating easier-to-use software-development kits which provide the infrastructure and tools developers need to create cool applications and easier means of distribution to provide brands and ad agencies with the tools needed to create richer, targeted experiences.

Limitless opportunities

Widgetvine, brand, The opportunities will become limitless. Brands that leverage the full power of mobile applications will be able to integrate features directly with a mobile phone’s contact list, embedded GPS, camera and other native capabilities. That’s the big difference between building an application for an operating system and a device and building a mobile website. Additionally, because mobile applications can take great advantage of a phone’s memory and processor, they will provide better data-streaming capabilities for users to consume high-fidelity content.

When creating branded mobile applications, the goal should be to provide true service and utility to consumers, not to inundate them with disruptive marketing messages.

One strong example is the recently launched AOL Radio for the iPhone. This free download from Apple’s App Store allows users to easily discover music by getting access to more than 200 radio stations and 25 genres streamed directly to their phones.

Just imagine you are a huge New York Knicks fan, and you are traveling for business in Portland but you can’t wait until you get home to hear fan reaction to the Knicks’ latest trade. Well, thanks to the burgeoning world of mobile applications, now you can crack open your iPhone, launch your AOL Radio application and tune in to your favorite New York sports radio station, 660 WFAN, as if you were still walking the streets of Brooklyn.

And even though this mobile application doesn’t directly affect any commerce sales for AOL, continued engagement with it can generate increases in brand affinity, brand recall and future purchase intent for AOL’s new and existing consumers.

Another great example of branded mobile applications is Widgetvine, created by the Vodafone research and development group and based on the Nokia Web Run-Time platform.

Widgetvine is a suite of mobile widgets (aka applications) available for free download on any S60 Nokia device, and they serve as an invaluable tool for Vodafone consumers and Nokia-device owners. The various widgets allow users to stay up-to-date on the latest news, buy movie tickets, or check departure and arrival times for different airlines.

As the mobile-application world grows, handset manufacturers and wireless carriers will play instrumental roles in driving the growth, creation and adoption of mobile applications. Just recently in the U.S., T-Mobile announced plans to open an iPhone-like app store for every phone on its network. Like the handset manufacturers, wireless carriers see mobile applications not just as a great service offering for consumers but also as a huge opportunity for additional revenue streams. As a result, wireless carriers are also working to clear the runway for mobile applications to take off.

Overall, this is fantastic news for brands and ad agencies looking to strengthen their brand presences and relevance through mobile applications. But in order for agencies to be successful, they’ll need to start staffing up with designers and developers who are equipped to create the next generation of relevant mobile marketing vis-à-vis service-oriented mobile applications.

The consumers are waiting.

Quicksilver’s New Flagship Store in Tokyo

Sairis Group and Activate team up to deliver an exciting new Quicksilver branded mobile game for the launch of Quicksilver’s new flagship store in Tokyo. The Quicksilver surfing game uses the latest patented Mobiactions mobile interactive video and voice response (IVVR) technology where users can “dial in” and immediately be immersed in a surfing game where they can move around on the wave and pick up prizes using their phone keypad.
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“With the advent of advertising in mobile games, consumers are now interacting with brands in a more engaging and meaningful way – something which youth marketers have found it increasingly tricky to do.” says Tim Smith of Sairis Group.

“Now we can enable advertisers like Quicksilver to engage consumers in a new and exciting manner, giving the consumer a unique and fun experience whilst at the same time the brand is remembered as an entertaining innovator”.

“In terms of memorability and value of experience this branded gaming concept far outranks simple web based, IM or SMS promotions.” says Gerald Gentemann of Activate.

“It is a totally non-invasive method of engagement, and we can provide a brand with an interactive experience that their consumer chooses to partake in. With over 100 million mobile phone users in Japan alone, we provide a key touch-point for a brand and literally put them in the hands of their target consumer.” says Tyron Giuliani, co-founder of Activate K.K.

The MobiActions patented platform seamlessly integrates synchronous call-to-action based game play, providing high levels of customer-brand engagement across multiple channels including mobile, PC and in-store. The experience is 100% “in call” and requires no downloads or additional applications on the handset.

The platform may be extended across any number of media, thus providing a 360 degree approach to brand campaigns. Users may experience the action on PC, mobile and in-store. At each point of contact usage statistics are gathered.

MobiActions also provides incentives to the customer since the ‘wins’ may be easily converted to in-store premiums. This makes it an ideal platform to enhance any loyalty or premium marketing program.

Mobiactions is built around specially integrated components and features the VEEDIA® Flash Gateway as one of the core systems. Sairis Group is an authorized reseller for VEEDIA® in Asia and Oceania.

The VEEDIA® The Flash 3G Video Gateway is a platform that permits mobile users to access Adobe Flash-based web applications with video and multimedia content by simply placing a standard video call from any 3G or SIP device. This means users can access live streaming webcams, pre-recorded and interactive video, games, animations and more. No WAP portal or installation is necessary.

Obama Once Again Uses Tech in Race for Presidency

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When Barack Obama announced his choice for vice president on mobile, the real payoff may come during the next few months — one text message at a time.

Obama’s campaign plans to break the news of the Democratic candidate’s vice presidential pick to people who have signed up to receive e-mails and text messages from the campaign. It should give Obama’s team access to tens of thousands of cell phone numbers that could be used to mobilize voters under 30 on Election Day.

“What Obama is creating is this army of individuals, these grass-roots activists, who are out there trying to change the world in 160 characters or less,” said David All, a Republican strategist who specializes in technology.

Obama’s electronic outreach is the most prominent example of a larger movement by members of Congress and political campaigns to present their message and connect with voters through text messaging on cell phones, social networks such as MySpace and Facebook, and the microblogging site Twitter.