Mobile Revolution…StarStar Codes

StarStar or Abbreviated Dialing Codes are like having a URL, 800# and Short Code rolled into one.

They are intelligent phone numbers that quickly and simply connect consumers with marketing offers and promotions. The codes are consumer controlled and allow consumers to opt-in easily and bypass text messaging.

The codes are brand centric with unlimited response options and for marketing savvy professionals the codes feature real-time direct delivery with measurable ROI.

StarStar Abbreviated Dialing Codes increase response rates. In fact, ADC technology is the only mobile direct response marketing tool that effectively links offline, traditional advertising with a simple call to action such as “dial **coupon” or a “dial **offer.”

There are over 275 million mobile consumers in the USA. Of those surveyed:

92% can respond to StarStar without training or instruction. Only 47% can do that with SMS

79% would use the service at least once per month

82% prefer StarStar dialing over any other service including SMS

StarStar is extremely strong in attracting the 35-year-old plus target to participate in mobile marketing programs.
The codes deliver product information, coupons, alerts and more with any customized message.

The system can send digital content directly to consumers including video, ring tones, wallpaper and audio. We can manage the content delivery and provide fast easy access to Websites, eliminating the need to remember or key in lengthy URLs

Brands can instantly connect the consumer to any phone number and send compelling offers instantly, including price updates, audio branded messages, geo-targeted retail information and coupons. You can even promote contests and giveaways for consumer products and TV shows and TVCs with a branded **entry code.

Try a test code if you have ATT now…simply dial **MTV or **USA.
When you dial **USA if you have an iPhone the system takes you to the App
if you have another handset it delivers the top stories of the day…very intuitive.

if you are interested in pursuing a code contact me…

Hallmark Launches Mobile Strategy

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, Hallmark has beefed up its mobile offerings with its new hoops&yoyo application, Fun @ Work, features games and videos, and other mobile initiatives including mobile greeting cards from 

Mike Adams manager of mobile says Hallmark is a company that helps people connect whenever and wherever they are, whether it’s through the mail, through the computer or through a cell phone.

Hallmark Mobile Greetings help provide more frequent and meaningful instant communication. Mobile Greetings combine the immediacy of a text message with creative design and editorial, and also allow the sender to add their own personal message.

Hallmark mobile cards
In addition, Hallmark Mobile Greetings work on the majority of mobile phone models and across all major mobile phone networks, making them easier to use and send than any comparable product on the market.

What challenges does mobile address for Hallmark?

Hallmark Mobile Greetings were developed because they recognize that oftentimes people want to connect with one another right in the moment, wherever they are.

There was a gap of “in the moment” communications that this new product can address.
The target demographic is primarily women who are tech-comfy, on-the-go people who value a connected network of family and friends.

Hallmark Mobile Greetings address a consumer-identified need to connect immediately with emotional impact — whether it’s encouragement or a light-hearted laugh. They are a great way to instantly communicate life’s everyday moments. You can send an instant mobile greeting whenever, and wherever, you are.

Research indicates that more than 80 percent of people have their mobile phones with them the majority of the time. The greetings are relevant for everyone, and there is something for all ages.

Search Shoot Out: Bing Versus Google

Talk about an iron grip on search. To research this blog comparing Google’s venerable search engine with Microsoft’s upstart Bing, I Googled “Bing versus Google.” It didn’t even occur to me to Bing the search.
Microsoft recently unveiled a fresh and attractive search alternative to Google. It’s just going to be difficult to change my own habit. I us Ask quite a lot but now to add a third mode of search good luck Microsoft.

Google’s is the search box affixed near the top of the Web browsers I use now. And way more often than not, Google delivers the thorough search results I’m seeking and does so with speed.

But give Microsoft props. Bing, launched about a month ago, is really impressive, in another league compared with the Live Search engine it replaces.

Bing bests Google on aesthetics. The Google home page is clean and sparse with the familiar Google Search button and links at the top for images, video, maps, news, shopping, Gmail and more.

Bing’s home page adds pizazz, with a stunning travel-oriented photo posted daily. Mouse over the images for factoids about the pics. From the home page, you can click on images, videos, shopping, news, maps and travel.

We all want fast, comprehensive and relevant results, a Google strength. Microsoft more than holds it own here, especially in the areas Bing is initially concentrating on — travel, health, finding local businesses and shopping. There’s even a cash-back program on certain items you buy through Bing.

Type “New York Mets,” and the team’s most recent scores and upcoming schedule are shown at the top of the results. Google displays the score of the last game and lets you know when the next game will be played.

Type a company name in Bing, and its customer-service phone number appears near the top. Bravo. Such numbers are hard to uncover through Google.

Throughout the Bing experience, you can access snippets of information that may satisfy what you’re looking for without leading you elsewhere. If you move the cursor to the right of a Bing search result, a summary window opens with excerpts lifted from the underlying site. You can quickly determine whether to navigate to the full site.

When you hover over a video thumbnail with the cursor, it starts playing, though I hit an occasional snag. You don’t have to click “play” or go to the video source (YouTube, Hulu, etc.). Clicking a thumbnail lets you watch in a larger window, often without leaving Bing. Hover over an image, and it jumps out in a somewhat larger window.

Another plus: the “quick tabs” that appear down the left side of the results pane to help you refine a search. Enter “Charleston, S.C.,” and you can categorize results by hotels, restaurants, real estate, weather, etc.

On Google, you must scroll to the bottom of a page to see “related searches,” though you can also summon a side panel, by tapping “show options.”

Bing is also dabbling in real-time search. For example, if you search for an influential person and add Twitter to the search, such as “Al Gore Twitter,” you’ll get a list of their recent tweets.

Philips Web TVC Wins Grand Prix at Cannes

A sign of the changing times: Tribal DDB persuaded Philips to launch an international movie theater-proportioned TV set brand with a digitally focused campaign that embodied the cinematic experience the Philips Cinema 21:9 is selling.
Cinema 21x9 Ambilight-218-85

The film jury at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival agreed that’s the way forward by awarding their commercial the Film Grand Prix, which has traditionally gone to the world’s best commercial.

Check it out on the link “Carousel” it as amazing.

“Film for many years was the pinnacle of a business that has changed,” said Richard Bullock, a film juror and executive creative director of 180 Amsterdam. “An idea is no longer manifested in a single TV ad. We’re a bigger and more eclectic mix. Film is now one of the tools.”

Interactive work is changing, and is no longer just about considering something a success because it spreads virally around the world.

“It’s not just about the cat that can play the piano,” Mr. Bullock said.

David Lubars, film jury president and chairman-chief creative officer of BBDO North America, described the Grand Prix-winning “Carousel” as a “magnet.” Shot in one long cinematic take that ends, or begins again, with the opening shot of a cop with a gun, “Carousel” pans a frozen moment in an attempted armored-car heist gone wrong. It’s a brilliant film by itself, and becomes a film-within-a-film by rolling over the cursor at certain points to see how the film was made or to see a demo of the Philips Cinema 21:9 TV, he said.

“It’s only going to get bigger,” Paul Gunning, CEO of DDB Worldwide, said after the film press conference. “We’ll take the idea and make sure it extends into all the platforms. We’re looking at the best ways we can take something consumers have clearly latched onto and make it more portable.”

Gary Raucher, head of integrated marketing communications and VP of Philips consumer lifestyle, said “Carousel” was viewed online 500,000 times in the first two-and-a-half weeks, and has had more than 1 million visitors to since its April launch, although many more have watched it on YouTube and other video sites.

When Your 80 Year Old Mother Forwards a Video to You Social Media Has Also Come of Age.

When your 80-year old mother forwards a video to you each day you can’t help but pay attention to the growth, acceptance and utility of social media. According to Forrester’s 2008 Social Technographic Profile, three out of four US adults use web technologies and tools to connect with other people and to share information. Adoption has grown from 56 percent just a year ago.

We have always been a very social culture. Lacking an overt class structure and the conventions of the old countries where social mobility was severely limited, we have long traditions of sharing information, open commentary and feedback, collective opinion polling and creative expression. We are a nation of voters, critics, reviewers and satirists.

Long before Mark Zuckerberg showed up millions of people were participating in discussion boards, user-groups, chat rooms and professional online forums of many stripes.

Blogs, photo and video-sharing like Flickr, RSS feeds, Twitter and Digg are the latest evolution of our need to say what we think and tell others. Social networks are the digital extension and expression of our love of clubs and fraternal organizations.

The early adopters have jumped into social networks to the tune of $920 million according to eMarketer, three-quarters of which was spent on MySpace (51%) and Facebook (19%). Like most early adapters the attention gets focused on the means rather than the marketing strategy.

Every marketer you meet fantasizes about creating a low-cost viral video that skyrockets them to fame and ROI-heaven with millions of free page views and mentions or replays in the mainstream media. This fantasy is validated by a Feed Company survey in which 71% of creative executives believe that viral video will become a standard marketing practice in one to three years. Forty-one percent of clients told Jupiter they intend to upload video to social network sites in the next twelve months. The hold-up, according to the Jupiter Research’s 2008 Advertiser Executive Survey,  is cost, anxiety about adapting existing TV creative and doubts about targeting. 

The critical questions for marketers are: How do we insert ourselves credibly into these networks and conversations? What’s the optimal use of this two-way communication and distribution channel? 

 The answer begins with an appreciation of how these new networks are evolving and how people are electing to participate. Social media is evolving like cable TV did, from the broad initial pioneers who prove the concept and attract mass audiences to niche channels that hyper-serve specific market segments or aggregate content into broader sub-categories like dating, health or careers. If MySpace is the pioneer then LinkedIn is the B2B play and the contenders for other spots along the spectrum are beginning to line up. 

Josh Bernoff talks about a Social Technographics Ladder, a pretentious sounding 6-step construct, to illustrate how people actually use and participate in social media. This idea suggests that some people are online but “Inactive.” They basically don’t care about any of this.

“Spectators” read blogs, watch videos and are passive voyeurs.

“Joiners” sign up for things, create profiles and visit sites regularly.

“Collectors” are one notch up; using RSS feeds, recommending and voting for content and adding tags to web pages.

“Critics” are active participants posting their own content, commenting on blogs, or adding to and editing wikis.

“Creators” sit atop the social media food chain publishing blogs, posting images, making videos, creating mash-ups and downloading music.

It’s a fair bet that the ladders map to a bell curve with “Inactives” at the right and  “Creators” at the left. The hump is moving to the left as more people do more things.

Breakout Solutions, a Fort Lauderdale software provider, called this state of affairs a “social media revolution” and advised its clients, “Whenever a new discipline is introduced that changes the entire dynamics of what influences consumer buying decisions and how you deliver your marketing message, you simply cannot afford to remain unresponsive and stagnant in formulating new strategies to meet business objectives.” And while I wouldn’t put it quite that way, I agree. So here are five things to do to seed social media into your marketing strategy.

Find Your Peeps.

It’s all about targeting. The goal is to comfortably intersect with your customers and prospects. In some cases you can add social media elements to your web site and to your marketing campaigns. In other cases it makes more sense to go where they are already going. Think like an anthropologist. Find your people. Watch what they say and do. Look for patterns. Ask them what they like and what they want.

Dare to Be Embarrassed.

Social media shifts control from brands to customers. It’s about what they think and what they want; not what you’re pushing. Some think you suck. But you knew that and it’s okay. To embrace social networks is to risk being next to content that you don’t control, to receive and respond to reviews and criticism you’re not used to and possibly to take your brand not so seriously.

Lead with Your Long Suit.

Social networks give brands the opportunity to expose things they know, showcase expertise, present ideas or designs, float trial balloons and introduce personalities. It’s an unparalleled chance to invite customers and prospect into your world. Don’t underestimate how into your brand your best customers are. Don’t be bashful. Put your people and your best stuff out there. Don’t let the lawyers tell you otherwise.

Play Around.

We’re in the early stages. There are no proven formulas and no real best practices. It’s a real chance to play around by asking users to send in things, participate in contests, answer survey questions, sample products or services, download coupons, upload photos and who knows what else? Test and learn your way to greatness.  

Play to the Cheap Seats.

Social media is like talk radio or old fashioned telephone party lines. A tiny percent call but everybody is listening. The beauty of having friends and linkages is seeing what they are doing and watching them experiment from the sidelines. The numbers of passive and occasional users far outnumber the hardcore players, even among the younger demographic groups.  But don’t ignore them because they’re getting off and getting their own ideas watching what goes on.