Sponge Boss Sings Texts Praises

Sponge CEO Alex Meisl has criticised marketing agencies who believe SMS is too limited as a medium to allow them to express their creativity in mobile marketing campaigns. Speaking at the Mobile Marketing Summit in London this morning, Meisl told delegates: 
Text is where its at.
Citing last years Sponge campaign for Walkers Crisps, which offered consumers the chance to win an iPod mini every 5 minutes, Meisl pointed out that 7% of UK population took part in the campaign, more than double the number that have taken part in even the most successful participation TV show.
The campaign attracted 17 million entries and has since been rolled out in Belgium and Holland. All entries were entered into a draw for the 5-minute period during which the entry was received. Despite the fact that consumers could choose to enter via text or the Internet, Meisl pointed out that in the UK, 80% of entries came via text. In Ireland, the figure was 90%.
To encourage repeat entries, Sponge devised 12 different reply messages to be sent back to losing entries. Some offered a piece of trivia or free content, others pointed out when the quietest or busiest times of day for entries had been the previous day. One consumer entered 2,000 times, winning three iPods in the process. 
We  increased the level of entries by 30% between the start and the end of full distribution, and that meant Walkers sold more crisps, which is what its all about,” said Meisl. Unfortunately  people sometimes forget that.
Meisl also predicted that after the focus over the last couple of years on personalised content for the inside of mobile phones, such as ringtones and wallpapers, 2006 could be the year that personalisation for the outside of the phone takes off.
We are getting very excited about the outside of the handset he said. “High quality vinyl skins to go on the outside of the phone to personalise them. They are starting to take off in the States and Japan, and we expect to see a similar thing in Europe.”
Meisl also advised delegates to put mobile marketing in context.
Mobile is not a revolution, its an incremental step he said. Its not something dramatically new, its part of the existing marketing mix, another tool. And he advised brands to use it with care, saying:
Dont spam, dont get in touch with someone unless they specifically asked you to. You have to earn the right to be on a consumers handset.