Chapter 8

The Brands Show Some Interest

From the beginning, Ivan Braiker’s business model was to extend beyond the broadcasting companies to brands and advertising and promotions agencies.

It was already happening in London where Thom Kennon, then a founding managing director for multichannel agency Rapp Collins, was running opt-in programs for the likes of the world’s largest premium drink company in the world.

“It was a chance to work with some of the biggest brands there were as they were trying to experiment with emerging channels,” says Kennon, now senior vice president and director of strategy at Y&R, a member of the WPP network of companies. “We did work for Diageo, a pilot to get people coming out of nightclubs in southeast England who were looking for a great curry place, looking for a jazz band, they were looking for an after-hours joint—we put together a mobile platform for us to be able to drive opt-in to a registered database to people who would receive alerts and be able to reach out to them where they were so they could find the things they were looking for on their mobile devices.”

Hipcricket’s first brand assignment was with Doritos, which aimed to make its product the “alpha snack” for 12- to 24-year-olds. A text call to action was placed on print, TV, radio, outdoor, and online advertising. Consumers were asked what “inNw?” meant (if not now when?). All participants were entered to win prizes and encouraged to go online to opt-in to the Doritos loyalty club. ...

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