Amp'd Mobile will offer game of cell phone tag
, a youth-oriented wireless phone provider, will soon be offering a wireless phone game sure to create a buzz.
The fittingly named “Phone Tag” will involve a game of tag using the GPS feature inside cell phones. Friends or strangers can sign up to play and then track each other’s movements on maps on their cell phones. When they get close to the tag target they hit a special button to “capture” the player to win.
The gamemaker, LivePlanet
, plans to sell sponsorships to companies to participate in the game. For instance, McDonald’s could ink a deal to become a “safe haven” where targets could relax and enjoy a shake shielded from the virtual maps of their opponents’ cell phones.
The game, spotlighted in the Wall Street Journal
, is scheduled to launch in June and could provide some interesting new business opportunities.
Amp’d mobile, a new venture known as an MVNO, launched in January 2006, targets 18-to-25 year old men, which sounds like the perfect audience for the game. They bill themselves as a “mobile entertainment company” rather than just a cellular service provider. They also offer a wide range of content for their phones such as uncensored “South Park” episodes.
Amp’d Mobile and the launch of “Phone Tag” should offer a wealth of new business potential. The company should be interested in promotions and sponsorships to coincide with their robust media platform. They may also be interested in traditional direct marketing tactics for acquiring new subscribers as well as retaining them.
Amp’d should be very interested in hearing from agencies with new media, interactive experience. Marketing to this demographic requires a little more savvy than just placing an commercial on Spike TV.
An April 26th an article published in Adweek stated that Amp'd recently awarded their $50 million dollar media planning account to New York based Taxi with Horizon Media handling the media buying.
The “safe haven” sponsorship idea should produce a hefty return on investment as well. The number of phone taggers may be small, but traditional media outlets would find it hard to resist covering the inaugural competition. With a good PR campaign in several large media markets, a small investment could produce a huge windfall of publicity.
Aaron Watkins, creative director of IPSH!
, a mobile marketing ad agency, called promotions using GPS-enabled cell phones “the wave of the future.”
As more phones come with GPS technology, Watkins said firms should find ways to get their brands on the maps of cell phones.
He said the marketing potential didn’t have to stop with “safe havens” in games. For instance, McDonald’s customer’s could opt in for a GPS promotion.
“Then, every time you walk by a McDonald’s you could get a coupon for McDonald’s,” he said. “It’s the future of mobile marketing.”
But, he warned that mobile marketing can be much more invasive than email marketing. Spam in your inbox is one thing, but getting a cell phone ad during a business meeting could bring about a whole new level of frustration.
Plus, Watkins warned, people aren’t going to react well to a “Minority Report” environment where personalized advertising messages bombard the public.
He said the Mobile Marketing Association
has created strict rules to prevent abuses. Consumers must opt in twice in order to receive a cell phone message, and numbers may not be used more than once (unless the consumer specifically agrees.)
Mobile marketing is still in its infancy and only took off in the last two years after the carriers lowered barriers to text message across platforms. Now companies can own a 5-digit number that anyone (regardless of their cell phone provider) can call. For instance, Google now provides a rudimentary yellow page service via text messaging. A user can dial 54456 (GOOGL) and enter their zip code and “Pizza” to receive a list of nearby pizza eateries.
For more information on mobile promotions, Watkins recommended the following sites: Textuality
We recommend your agency start thinking about marketing campaigns geared toward GPS-enabled phones or text messaged promotions. Corporate marketers are hungry for fresh ideas, and these innovative mobile marketing campaigns fit the bill.
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