March 7th, 2006

Donald’s Apprentices Fall Short on Mobile Marketing

If mobile marketing is on Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice,” is it mainstream? They generated a little over 1,100 text messages in a day.

A lot of loose ends in this campaign. A few things done well, but many missed opportunties.

A list …

- Times Square? I don’t live in New York, but the few times I’ve been through Times Square I’ve seen more middle-aged tourists than young adults. There certainly is a lot of traffic there, but I’m not sure it’s their target audience. Young adults are most likely to be intrigued by mobile marketing campaigns. Local universities, schools, etc. might have made for better real estate.

- Very open-ended. All of these episodes have some kind of product placement. Why not go the rest of the way? Let the TV audience participate. What was the answer? Were there coupons?

- Not enough buzz. Guys in bathrobes at Times Square? “Closer”? “Blade5″? They at least generated enough intrigue for 1,100 individuals to text in, but weak.

- Commercials in-between the TV segments. They didn’t point to the SMS campaign or the Internet. Excedrin came the closest with directing viewers to their web site to name the “Biggest Pain of the Week.” That would be a fun text campaign.

The presence of mobile marketing on a high profile TV program is a sign that it is moving towards mainstream. The execution by these “Apprentices” though and the company leave the imp
ression that mobile marketing still has a long ways to go before we see it reach it’s potential.

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