Hip-Hop Dominates Top 2005 Ringtone Downloads


Mobile entertainment firm Moderati has released its year-end wrap-up of ringtones including an analysis of regional preferences. Without surprise, hip-hop dominated top spots on the list again this year, with 60 percent of the songs from hip-hop artists.

Video game themes (Super Mario Brothers) and evergreen movie themes (Halloween) ranked high as well, with five top finishes. Cracking the top 20, a bit out of left field, was "Scotty Doesn't Know" by Lustra, a song from the 2004 movie Eurotrip.

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by Steve Hall    Jan- 9-06    
Topic: Mobile/Wireless, Research, Trends and Culture

Graffiti Film Promoted With Mobile Phone Wallpaper


Benjamin Morgan, director of graffiti documentary Quality of Life, has entered a promotional and grass roots fund raising deal with Start Mobile, a company that provides downlaodable art from emerging and underground artists for use as cell phone wallpaper. The deal calls for StartMobile to offer and promote still images from Quality of Life.

Quality of Life Producer Brant Smith explains the choice of StartMobile as a promotional vehicle saying, "We can't afford billboards or TV spots. But if we can get our stills and promotional materials on thousands of cell phones across the country...we won't need to spend money on ads like Hollywood films do. Our audience doesn't care about print and TV ads. They're on-line and on their mobiles."

He's right. The mobile phone, now and when companies like Apple and Creative along with cell phone makers get beyond initially poor efforts at combining the mobile phone with the MP3 player, will become the single most important medium surpassing even television.

by Steve Hall    Dec-21-05    
Topic: Mobile/Wireless

Samsung Embraces Mobile Phone As Video Medium


We're told Samsung Mobile has launched AnyFilms.net a site, created and implemented by Margeotes Fertitta Powell and The Barbarian Group, which features serial and interactive videos under the auspices of Ubiquitous Films and exec produced by Broken Flowers and Alexander producer Jon Kilik to highlight the cell phone as a rising video medium. The first serial film section of the site features two films. The first film Across the Hall has been directed by Alex Merkin, starring Entourage actor Adrian Grenier while another, "GiGi" was directed by Mark Dippe, the director of the feature film Spawn. Across the Hall was engaging enough to keep us watching until the end.

The second section of the site is really interesting and provides six icons that can be dragged into different sections of a grid which then reveals portions of previously shot footage, featuring ten characters and a mysterious suitcase, that make up a mystery. The mystery can be solved by sliding the six icons into enough different positions on the grid enough times producing enough different footage to offer clues. We spent a good amount of time with it but didn't want to go through all 11,000 permutations and combinations. Suffice to say, it kept us wanting more.

The site officially launches December, 24 but is live now. While the site purports to be all about dowloadable video, oddly, there seems to be no obvious means to download any of the content. No matter. We'd rather watch it comfortably at home rather than hunched over a cell phone fighting off angry commuters on the MTA. Oh wait. They're on strike.

The site is being seeded and promoted across weblogs by HyperHappen, an agency whose website, in a stamp of approval of the medium, is a weblog itself.

by Steve Hall    Dec-21-05    
Topic: Celebrity, Mobile/Wireless, Online

More Content (And More Ads) Hit PDA's


MobilePlay, a company that provides smart phones with free content in exchange for ads, of course, has added Pocket PC to its list of devices through which it can offer its content. Launched in early 2005, MobilePlay currently works with Palm, Blackberry and now Pocket PC phones and PDAs. In return for downloading the MobilePlay software and viewing accompanying ads, users get free content from Business Week, PC World, USA Today The Weather Channel, Gawker, The Sporting News and others. Microsoft and Volvo are charter advertisers on the service.

by Steve Hall    Dec-14-05    
Topic: Mobile/Wireless

Mobile Bus/Home Brings Washington Mutual Mortgages to the People


Wexley School for Girls, in partnership with design firm General Public created The Washington Mutual E-bus, a full size commercial bus, retrofitted as a self-contained, mobile technology center with computer workstations and Internet connectivity through satellite. The E-bus brings the bank to the people and offers access to credit reports and homeowner education

Wexley photographed a house, wrapped the bus on all sides and set a world-record for "Largest Door Mat" which measures 10 feet tall by 36 feet long. The E-bus started rolling two weeks ago, and will operate in Southern California where it will tour over the course of six months.

by Steve Hall    Dec- 8-05    
Topic: Guerilla, Mobile/Wireless

CSI:NY Ring Tone Product Placement to Promote Coldplay


In an agreement between CBS and Capitol Records, a ring tone of Coldplay's "Talk," the second single from the double platinum album X&Y, will be embedded into the content of the CSI:NY episode to be broadcast Wednesday, November 30. In the episode, CSI: NY's Danny Messer is investigating a case when his cell phone rings to the tune of "Talk." We'll wait while you snicker at the real life likelihood of that.

Following the scene, CBS will run promotional messages during the act break in the episode telling viewers how they can purchase and download the ringtone.

by Steve Hall    Nov-29-05    
Topic: Mobile/Wireless, Television

Sprint PowerVision More Entertaining Than Cab Ride


OK, so maybe we don't like the new Sprint Together With Nextel thing but we absolutely love the company's Entertainment Anytime cab ride experience that promotes Sprint's Powervision network which consists of video, news, music, games TV and other goodies for your cell phone. This little piece of amusement resembles that of HBO's Taxi Cab Confessions except there's no confessing and it's all G rated. Basically, the keys on your keyboard become devices through which to add a bit of entertainment to a usually boring cab ride all while making an analogy to Sprint's far better choice of entertainment on its cell phone network. Perhaps we'll forgive them for all that yellow and inane combo-branding strategy.

by Steve Hall    Nov-22-05    
Topic: Games, Mobile/Wireless, Online, Viral

New Zealand Telecom Battleship Explosion Promotion Completed


In early October, we announced a New Zealand Telecom Mobile promotion which involved SMS, Battleship, and blowing up an actual battleship. Well, the ship has been blown up, 115,000 signed up to win the honor of blowing up the ship and 2.5 million text messages were sent.

The winner was 22 year old female student, Jo Smith, who, on Sunday 13th November 2005, pushed the button that sent the 3,000 ton frigate to the bottom of the sea where it starts its new life as New Zealand's newest dive wreck and home for marine life. Tens of thousands of spectators turned up on the shoreline and hills of South Wellington, and there were over 220 assorted water craft and vessels there to witness the event. The sinking had been delayed for 24 hours due to bad weather, but in the end it all went off perfectly and attracted significant media coverage for Wellington and for TouchCast (the promotion organizer) client, Telecom Mobile. View the explosion here.

by Steve Hall    Nov-14-05    
Topic: Mobile/Wireless

'Lost,' 'Desperate Housewives' Available on New Video iPod


While we're not quite what the draw is about watching television on a 2.5 inch screen in a world of 50 inch televisions, we can't complain about Walt Disney's deal with Apple to provide next-day downloads for $1.99 via iTunes to the new video iPod of ABC's popular series Lost and Desperate Housewives, among others. With dwindling television viewership and, hence, dwindling ad revenue for networks, providing mobile, commercial-free, pay-per-view programming makes a tremendous amount of sense for the nets. If this takes off, networks will run with glee to the bank. Marketers, with an ad medium pulled out from under their feet, may not be so happy.

by Steve Hall    Oct-13-05    
Topic: Brands, Mobile/Wireless, Opinion, Television

New Zealand Telecom Promotion Blows Up Battleship


Reaffirming New Zealanders know how to have fun, Telecom Mobile has launched an SMS campaign inspired by the board game Battleship and called Push the Button. The player who wins an SMS game to locate a virtual version of the former HMNZS Wellington battleship will win a trip, along with three friends, to push a button that will blow up the real HMNZS Wellington which will then sink to become an artificial marine reef and diving attraction. The contest launched September 30 and Telecom 027 customers must register by October 9 to play the game.

$150,000 of other prizes will also be awarded, including a Sanyo 32-inch widescreen televisions, Sanyo T3G mobile phones, dive gear and courses, Microsoft X Box consoles, airtime credit and other prizes. The game finishes on 31 October with the winner announced thereafter, and the sinking will take place on November 12.

In true shrimp-on-the-barbie style, experiential agency TOUCH/CAST conceived the Push The Button promotion over a lazy Christmas Day Bar-B-Q at one of the employees homes.

by Steve Hall    Oct- 6-05    
Topic: Mobile/Wireless, Promotions