Tagged 'mobile phone'

Orange calls on customers to favor family over phone

People are now accessible to one another anyplace, anytime, and employees are constantly connected to their workplace. (As a recent Amstel “cell phone locker” initiative we wrote about put it: “Nowadays every professional with a smart device can confirm that it is impossible to get away from work.”) This increases accordingly the level of anxiety when trying to achieve a balanced work/family life. In a campaign from Orange in Israel, a family is seen enjoying themselves in an amusement park when the father receives a call from his boss. He hesitates: not answering the call could be a bad career move, but this family outing is valuable to him.

The park characters then come to life, singing to him to persuade him not to answer the call, to put his phone on silence mode and to dedicate his time to his family. In the end, Orange delivers the message: “There are times when you should put your cell phone aside, but at other times you have Orange Ultranet.” Orange tackles the work/family issue by encouraging its customers to change their behavior and reduce the amount of time on their phone in favor of quality time with the family, encouraging smarter consumption.

O2 finds a catchy message in ‘Be More Dog’ campaign

o2 dog copyU.K. mobile operator O2 has launched a fun new campaign that reminds us that although we’ve all become bored and jaded, “the modern world is astonishing” and “we can do the most incredible things.” (An echo of Louis C.K.’s “Everything is amazing and nobody is happy.”) The Telefónica brand urges consumers to “be open to amazing new technology and what it can do”—by being more like a dog than a cat.

The “Be More Dog” campaign likens people to cats (aloof, unimpressed) and advises us to be “be a bit more dog” because “to them, life is amazing.” The message is that we’ve become so cynical that we’ve lost all sense of wonder at the joys of modern technology. The commercial, which keeps the focus off O2 itself, extols the canine’s approach to life while showing the type of delightful pet shots that will get distracted viewers to stop and watch. It also refers viewers to bemoredog.com, where they can play a “grab the Frisbee” game and link to more information about O2’s offerings.

Brands are more likely to connect with today’s anxious consumers by emphasizing the core value of hope, inspiring optimism rather than stoking fears, as we’ve long noted. O2 has found a way to tie its brand to a life-affirming message that most viewers can connect with, illustrated with the most viral of digital themes.

Photo Credit: O2

Mazuma Mobile addresses twin anxieties with recycling program

The impact of our disposable lifestyles on the environment has been a concern to many for some time now. But how many consumers are prepared to pay more for a “green” brand? So often, the anxiety about bank balance is put before anxiety about the environment. Now, being green can actually earn consumers money: A number of companies in the U.K. are encouraging people to recycle old mobile phones in return for cash.

Mazuma Mobile, the most vocal of these, boldly aims to address both concerns at once—recycle your phone for reuse in developing markets (thereby being kinder to the environment and bettering communications in these countries) while earning some cold hard cash in the bargain (reducing concerns about just how to fund one’s lifestyle until the next payday). And with up to £280 for a used phone, Mazuma is likely to have found a successful combination. If only being green could always be this profitable.


Photo Credit: http://www.mazumamobile.com/

Nokia refines naming system to help consumers overwhelmed by choice

As we discussed recently, too many choices can paralyze consumers, creating anxiety and deterring people from making any purchase at all. So Nokia’s new naming convention for its phones is a step in the right direction for a company with a multitude of products.

The phones are grouped into four series by function: N (most advanced), X (social networking), E (business) and C (basic functions). Within each series, phones are assigned numbers from 1 to 9 that signify the range of features available and, hence, cost. So buyers know from the start whether they’re looking at a highly sophisticated device (rated 9) or a stripped-down one (rated 1).

Nokia’s solution—paring down information to its essentials—allows consumers to more easily weigh price range, features and functionality and more quickly determine what they want. This takes some of the anxiety about making the right choice out of the equation, especially at a time when diligent consumers must do a great deal of work to wade through the fine print.


Photo Credit: http://www.nokiausa.com/find-products/nseries

McDonald’s merges mobile media and marketing magnificently

9800082_tokyojapanThis post is not so much about anxiety but about being successful at a time when anxiety makes competition for consumers’ pocket money particularly fierce. McDonald’s, which recently announced that group operating profits for the first half were up 33 percent in Japan over last year, has carried out some very smart marketing here this year, especially in its efforts to truly connect with consumers.

For example, McDonald’s set up wi-fi hotspots in its restaurants and is making good use of them for marketing, using the wi-fi capability as a new media channel. For a summer promotion, McDonald’s Japan teamed up with Nintendo and Square Enix, a game designer, to create a downloadable Nintendo DS game, Dragon Quest: McDonald’s Travelers. Players could bring their Nintendo DS systems to a local McDonald’s, where they could download and play the battle game.

The brilliance of this promotion was that the only way to play was to go to McDonald’s. Players were also limited to one play session a day, but earned a free burger after five sessions (i.e., five trips to McDonald’s). McDonald’s Travelers got over a million downloads, and the promotion, scheduled to end Sept. 3, proved so popular that it was extended to Oct. 1.

The merging of retail and gaming is a great way to expand one’s consumer base, and the way McDonald’s executed it also enticed greater frequency of visits. Talk about getting people to spend time with your brand.

U.K. telecom helps customers manage spending

In this recession, a wide range of brands are finding ways to help their customers better manage their spending. In the U.K., the telecom O2 has come up with O2 Money: “O2 is all about finding the best ways of connecting you to your world,” reads promotional copy. “And we know that you’d appreciate an easy way to stay on top of your cash using your mobile.” (More picture-19evidence—if any were needed in a post-iPhone-apps world—that the mobile phone is not just a phone anymore but a life-management device.)

The O2 Cash Manager and the O2 Load & Go cards are no more than pre-paid cash cards—but with the advantage of receiving real-time text alerts every time you use the card, updating you on how much you’ve spent and how much remains. For people who find it difficult staying within a budget, this could be a useful card to add to the dozen or more already in the wallet. The flipside, of course, is that every time you take the card out, you tell the world, or at least the checkout assistant, that you are indeed one of those pathetic characters whose spending is out of control.