Will the real Chocolate Cell Phone Please Stand up?

Ironically, Samsung is producing this one for Hershey's. In an unlocked phone environment, these make sense.

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Another MVNO Says " Good-bye "

Voce slipped away rather quietly today. A journalist pointed me towards a story in the LA Times.

It's not surprising that they've closed down. It's more surprising that they lasted as long as they did. I'm not in any way criticizing their efforts - it's a tough business acquiring customers and then collecting money from them each month. I was in their shop once in the LA area - great boutique store. Beautiful phones.

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Last Message before Super Tuesday

At precisely 3:13 pm pst I received a text message from Barack Obama's campaign. Within 10 seceonds, I received a second one from Hillary's campaign. How does this happen? Hillary's campaign doesn't text met that often so I was more curious about this message.

[Before I continue, I have to comment though ... when is the short code going to show up as a name instead of a number. When I six-digit number shows up as the "Sender," it's like a blinking warning light: "Spam, Spam, Spam."]

Hillary's last words:

Tonight at 9 EST I'm holding a nationwide townhall meeting and I want your input. Reply 'Voice" plus your question and tune in at HillaryClinton.com - Hillary

Barack's last words:

(and granted I receive about one message per day from his campaign - it seems. On Saturday they reminded me to watch him on MTV)

Vote for Barack tomorrow! Polls are open from 7:00am to 8:00pm. For location info: CA.BarackObama.com or call 866-675-2008 (press 4)Please fwd this msg.

Pressing "4" on my cell phone did nothing so I guess they mean press "4" once you call the 866 number.

Kudos to Barack's campaign for some location-based targeting.

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Engagement and Super Bowl XLII Ads

Pete_thumb[Posted by Peter Kim]

Now that 24 hours have passed since the Pats' super bust, it's actually a perfect time for this post.

Think back about the game.  Do you remember any of the ads - without any aided recall?  Did any of them really "engage" you?

For $3 million, I was curious about how engaging the ads would be.

Thinking about engagement, Forrester's definition states "Engagement is the level of involvement, interaction, intimacy, and influence an individual has with a brand over time."

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...And Then There Were Two

...er, actually, three. That is Rhapsody, Napster, and Microsoft as the remaining major players in the on-demand subscription music service business. I got a little tied up with Yahoo-Microsoft this morning, so I'm late to post on Yahoo's intention to shut down its Yahoo Music Unlimited service, and instead promote Rhapsody. This deal more or less mirrors what Napster and AOL did, and Rhapsody and MTV did, not all that long ago.

Jupiter remains as bullish as anybody on these services, which are awesome products that, so far, only appeal to a niche audience of music aficionados. We're projecting the $235M market (US, 2007) will grow to $600M in 2012, but we did lower our forecast a bit, as the business has remained sluggish and we've learned more about customers who subscribe. That forecast is in comparison with $1.1B in US downloads projected to hit $2.8B in five years.

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SMS Ads ... What warrants an alert? and when?

Last summer I did a couple of blog pieces on the Presidential candidates using text messaging to reach supporters.

I now receive messages from his campaign whenever he is going to appear on TV ... which is frequently these days. While the timing tends to be same day as the event which is good, I'm often at the office and can't get home in time to watch or program my Tivo to do so. (My Tivo from DirectTV is pre-Ethernet connection days). I know of the events, but I can't do anything about them.

I also haven't received the bumper sticker/materials that I opted in for via SMS. Having backend systems to support SMS efforts is an entirely different issue.

MyCokeRewards has been sending me gentle "nudges" every so often. When I first registered, I gave them a bunch of information regarding my cell phone and then heard nothing from them for a long time. Now they send me messages every once in a while encouraging me to visit their site to get some loyalty points or to watch Superbowl commercials, but it's never really enough to motivate me to do anything.

For me these campaigns illustrate where we seem to be right now with mobile marketing messages. Some early momentum a year or so ago. We saw some initial creativity with Starbucks and some others. Brands were collecting subscriber information, but not doing anything with it. There was a lot of caution used in sending out messages. Now, a few messages are trickling out.

Back-end systems weren't in place to integrate acquisition data or do analytics. Short codes / voting are all over TV and doing well (any one watch the Superbowl yesterday?) - it's become expected at least for national football/basketball games. I haven't seen much lately though that indicates we're going to see accelerated growth. It's certainly not stalled, but could use a boost right now.

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Sooperbowlin' VIII

A game for the ages. Too bad I'm a 'skins fan. There's a lot of whoopin' and hollerin' in my neighborhood.

Sooperbowlin' VII

...and Coke follows up with Carville and Frist. They've got their mojo back in Atlanta.

Sooperbowlin' VI

So far, the NFL, not AT&T or Anheuser Busch (the Bud Lite spots are horrendous) or Pepsi or Coke, has the best storytelling spots. No, wait, there's Coke's Macy's parade balloons. Nice. Very nice.

Sooperbowlin' V

And the bad taste sets in. Why do we need a nose-picker watching Shaq as a jockey for VitaminWater? And what's with the stereotype accents for the pandas pitching Salesgenie?