What a cell out: Adshel and Fly Buys go mobile

Phones at the ready, New Zealand: Adshel will be unveiling a new offering called ‘Adshel Mobile’ on Monday, which the company claims to be the first out of home mobile network in the country. And the first campaign to use the techy wares will be Fly Buys Music.

The new package integrates mobile and outdoor media to get consumers to engage and interact with brands outside their homes. And in the first effort, which aims to draw attention to Fly Buys Music and New Zealand Music Month, consumers will be given an opportunity to download Kiwi music for free by interacting with selected bus shelters around New Zealand.

Chris Lamers, head of marketing and product development at Loyalty New Zealand, the operator of Fly Buys, thinks this kind of offering is the future of marketing; “interacting with people on their own terms, when they want and where they want it”. And, increasingly, that means interacting with them via mobile.

The campaign hits 20 Adshel Mobile Bluetooth sites next week, with another 180 panels featuring QR codes and SMS. Consumers who opt-in to the mobile network via their phone’s Bluetooth connections are invited to download one of three music tracks from New Zealand artists Stan Walker, Annah Mac and Seth Haapu (each track is available for a limited time).

The campaign, which will be on the streets until 23 May, also incorporates QR codes, allowing consumers to take a photo of the QR code on the poster with a compatible internet-enabled phone and connect directly to the Fly Buys Music mobile site. And those with slightly older phones can get SMS download instructions sent to them via text. Instructions are also featured on each of the posters.

Lamers says Fly Buys and its partners (Clemenger BBDO and OMD in Wellington, as well as mobile QR code and SMS technology from Run the Red and Bluetooth technology from Qwikker) have tried to offer consumers a variety of different ways to download the tracks, but he is particularly excited about the Bluetooth option because there are no data plans and no cost for the user. He says the potential of Bluetooth has been talked about for years, but he believes this is one of the first useful applications of the technology thus far.

With mobile application uptake on the rise in New Zealand, Elvira Lodewick, marketing director at Adshel, says the strategy of mobile and outdoor gives advertisers superior reach, as well as the bonus of interacting with audiences. Adshel Mobile kicked off in Australia last July, with two campaigns, one to promote the movie Transformers 2 and the other to engage Brut’s male target audience, proving particularly effective (anoraks can download the case studies Brut Campaign Report and Transformers 2 Campaign Report).

“The launch of the network is a timely one, as more and more advertisers look towards media agencies to deliver increased engagement and measurable advertising spend” she says. “For Fly Buys, Adshel Mobile provides a new and innovative way to deliver information and engage audiences from the bus stop, onto their mobile phones and online.”

Lamers admits New Zealand is “a little bit behind” other countries in regards to this kind of mobile marketing technology, but it is changing slowly and for Fly Buys, the mobile and musical planets now appear to be in alignment, even though Lamers says it took plenty of hard work to get them there.

“We want to give people something for free that they may want. What we don’t want to do is invade their personal space.”

The Bluetooth offer is completely opt-in, of course, but, to the uninitiated, this kind of technology still seems to elicit concerns around privacy and invasiveness. “We think the offer is generous enough that people won’t mind it,” he says.”We’re taking the likable approach.”

He points to the very different use of Bluetooth in Hong Kong, where messages will often pop up phones asking users to come in to the shop they’ve just walked past and check out a sale. He doesn’t think this kind of approach would be greeted too favourably in New Zealand, however.

As far as campaign expectations go, Lamers says he honestly doesn’t know. It’s great for Fly Buys to be first off the block with this innovative  offering, and it’s also a great way to support New Zealand music, but he is estimating downloads will be in the thousands, rather than the tens of thousands. Still, if it manages to get the younger demographic talking about Fly Buys and draw attention to its new, greatly expanded music offering, where members can turn their points into downloadable music, then he’ll be pretty happy.

One issue with the Adshel Mobile network is that iPhones are incompatible with Bluetooth, with the only Bluetooth application supported by the phones apparently being for headsets. But iPhones can still engage with the shelters/posters through SMS, MMS and QR Codes.

Adshel isn’t content with the new mobile offering, however. It has continued the digital push with its 2010 media guide, making the information more accessible (and environmentally friendly) via a USB drive and a completely revamped website, rather than the previous paper-based incarnation.

The USB opens with an animation, directing the user to a directory of the files, which include Adshel’s 2010 packages, coverage maps, rate cards, case studies and production specs, as well as factsheets on reach, engagement, insights and production. This new approach came about as a result of feedback from clients and colleagues who wanted information quickly that they could pull into presentations and share amongst their colleagues and clients.

www.adshel.co.nz has also had a major spruce up, with a new design framework, snazzy pics of street furniture and the four key pillars, who we are, what we do, how we do it and what we think, forming the basis of the site. It also includes all the information found on the USB media guide.

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