Posted December 27, 2010 5:02 pm by with 4 comments

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“Are you really still rockin’ a flip phone?”

That’s an ad you might see if you try surfing the web with your Motorola Razr phone only it’s being sent to you by Nokia. It’s called “intercept campaigning” and according to an article in today’s Wall Street Journal, it’s becoming very popular among cell phone companies as they all vie for a piece of a pretty small pie.

Says, Phuc Truong, managing director of Mobext:

“The [wireless] market is saturated, and pretty cutthroat. There’s not that much room to play. You can go after a new segment that doesn’t have mobile phones, or you could refine and search for users that just are getting out of their two-year plans.”

We’ve all seen these targeted ads online, but advances in targeting technology have now made it possible to detect what kind of phone a person is using and who provides their service.

But just because we can, doesn’t mean we should. Ads that slam a competitor are bad enough, but when an ad starts taking issue with my own personal choices, that’s just wrong. If you want to sell me a product, convince me that yours is the best tool for the job. Don’t beat me down with the fact that my current choice is out-dated or out of fashion.

What do you think? Is intercept campaigning smart advertising or one step over the line?

  • Re: “smart advertising” or “over the line” – I’ll say both.

    Which it turns out to be is determined delivery by delivery; the reception depends wholly on the target/recipient.

    Many don’t notice or recognize the targeting (or even the ad itself). Some notice and are creeped out. A few notice the targeting and enjoy it as a non-random and potentially useful piece of information.

  • The article stated that RIM’s ad was “Do More”

    A better way of positioning the ad would have been to say “Do more with Push Email”…which is a huge deal for corporations.

    On Blackberry email is pushed to the devices before it gets to the company server other phones cannot say this. RIM should play to their strengths which is the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution or the BlackBerry Internet Solution for consumers

    We should always advertise by linking positioning statements to a buying need…….in essence what problem does this phone solve.

  • I have noticed these ads and don’t consider them over the line at all. Many websites pick out your location now, something I consider more intrusive then picking out the phone I am using. I don’t really have any more of a problem with this then I would any other advertising.

  • Seems like smart advertising, not really cut throat. I would assume most of the people that still have flip phones have considered upgrading or are waiting for their chance to upgrade. Or they just might not care so the ads are not going to shame them into making a switch cause….they don’t care. Since there are so few reasons why people switch cell phone companies, seems like a good play.