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Kim Dushinski

So does mobile marketing keep you up at night? Either figuring it out or being excited by the opportunities? Me too.

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Super Bowl XLV Mobile Commercials …or Not


In my third annual Super Bowl Mobile Hits and Mobile Misses analysis I am going to start with the mobile misses – pretty much all of the advertisers. I sat there watching each commercial with anticipation and my cell phone handy and ready to take action when directed and almost nothing happened. Really?!?

At first I was shocked. After three years of thinking this will finally be the year when the commercials start to use mobile as the effective direct response tool it can be; I had a huge realization. Super Bowl commercials are not wired for direct response at all. They are all about branding and impact and award winning and the water cooler effect. It is almost as if people laughing and talking is enough for these brands.

Maybe that is just the way it is always going to be. However, I think that is a crying shame. After all if you are going to spend millions of dollars why not ensure a measurable response? Why not have a text message call to action that stays on the screen the entire spot and get millions of opt-in subscribers for your mobile or email database?

This would effectively extend the reach of that ad well beyond the day or two of water cooler effect. By the end of this week the remembrance factor on these commercials will be nil. (OK, that Doritos finger sucking one will probably stick with us all for a lot longer than we want it to.)

But if there were a brand that could send out a text message coupon this coming Friday to millions of people who had opted in …that brand would be remembered. That brand would literally be in the palm of the hands of millions of Americans. They would be raking in measurable response days after everyone else’s commercial was a distant memory.

And that response could carry on ALL YEAR LONG. By the time Super Bowl XLVI was coming around they could even use that text message list to hype the new commercial. Oh my goodness, why do none of these advertisers grasp this?

Especially LivingSocial and Groupon! It seems to me that their businesses will live or die based on their opt-in lists. If their ads were better (not a burly guy turning into a cross dresser or a total slam on Tibet’s struggles) I propose it would have been possible for them to each grab at least a few million more email subscribers with a simple “Text your email address to this short code to sign up for daily offers” or “Sign up for daily deals now at”

To quote my favorite movie of all time, The Princess Bride, it is INCONCEIVABLE to me that this was missed. How much more money would these companies be making today with their daily offer? Tomorrow? Next week? The Wall Street Journal asks, “Who Won The Super Bowl – Groupon Or LivingSocial?” and I say neither one. They both lost. The opportunity cost on missing out on using mobile to build their emails lists is huge.

What about all the car companies…what if dealers across the country had lists of people who wanted to test drive a car they saw on a commercial? All it would take is a simple “Text your email address and zip code to this short code and a list of nearby dealerships will be sent to you.” Following up with hot prospects is a lot better than sitting around waiting for someone to come into the dealership.


OK, now on to the Mobile Hits. The big winner was the NFL – sort of. They had the most mobile calls to action in the whole game. They had a text call to action in the first half. By texting NFL to 8915 I would be able to get “News, Stats, Highlights and More.” This actually sounded exciting and compelling so I texted in.

Unfortunately, the only thing I got back was a message telling me that my message was sent using an invalid number of digits. I never got my news, stats highlights or more. Bummer. Wonder what happened with the short code. Was this a carrier specific campaign but not announced that way?

The NFL also did a very good job suggesting that logging in to to vote for the MVP could be done via mobile. That was great. Even as I write that I am so sad that this is the best use of mobile in the whole Super Bowl.

Another mobile win was, again, In their funny “go first” ad they suggest that sometimes going first is not all it is cracked up to be. When choosing a car it is best to see what others have already found out. The person doing the finding out was standing in a showroom using his mobile device to access to see reviews. Smart ad. Good use of suggesting mobile. Go First Ad


I feel compelled to mention the SalesForce commercial. Essentially the whole point of this commercial was that using their software via mobile would increase productivity. However, the whole thing was muddled up by the “Baby Peas” concept which was so weird. These commercials even made the top three disliked commercials.

It gives me great pleasure that the sexist domain seller commercials are also on that list. I refuse to even name them since they seem happy to have any attention and count it as reason to keep running these insipid ads.

Completely unrelated to mobile in anyway, I have to say that Budweiser (my favorite beer of all time) let me down by not having any good Clydesdale commercials. A cameo appearance in one commercial is NOT enough of the beautiful horses. Come on Bud!

And E*Trade, too, was a disappointment. I expect a lot from that talking baby and didn’t even crack a smile this year. That is almost as sad as mobile being missed by practically all the advertisers.

Santa Claus Needs Mobile Marketing


This is a GUEST POST by Bob Bentz. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

North Pole – Who’s the greatest businessman of all-time?

No, it’s not Henry Ford, nor is it John D. Rockefeller. Bill Gates? Donald Trump? Richard Branson? Mark Zuckerberg?

Give me a break.

The greatest businessman of all time is, without a doubt, Santa Claus.

Think about it. His customers return year after year. He has a factory that churns out toys 24/7 with little overhead. He has loyal employees; of course, there aren’t a lot of jobs in the world in this tough economy, so imagine how hard it is for elves these days.

Santa Claus has a promotions department that secures prime visibility in crowded malls and gets him grand marshal positions in parades all over the world. He also has a public relations staff that writes songs, poems, and even produces movies and television shows with him as the star. His stamina is amazing and there are no banned substances in his body, unless you count thousands of chocolate chip cookies!

He’s an advertising genius. Just watch TV in December and see how many commercials he’s on. I’ve seen him drinking Coca-Cola for years now and am still amazed how he can balance himself on that Norelco razor after all the junk food he eats!

And talk about customer service. It’s the best in the world. No waiting on hold to talk to his telemarketers that are actually “Bob” from India. He knows what you want, often without your even telling him.

But, sometimes I think Santa Claus is slipping a bit the past few years. He hasn’t really embraced html5, smartphones, social networking, or any new technology very well. I think he’s one of only about 15 Americans that don’t have a Facebook account.

His workers still use basic tools from the pre-Industrial Revolution. His mode of transportation still involves harnessed livestock that takes a treacherous route around the world. Call the ASPCA!

And, don’t tell me one animal with a light bulb on his nose is innovative. His ordering process is downright archaic. I mean, who writes letters any more?

What Santa Claus needs is mobile marketing. Worldwide, 5 trillion text messages are sent each year, but how many of you have ever received one, or sent one, to the North Pole? Even Verizon can’t hear you now at the North Pole.

Did you know that 18% of those 5 trillion text messages are considered commercial text messages? Don’t you think a broadcast text message would be a great way for Santa to get rid of some of his closeout inventory? I hear there’s a warehouse at the North Pole that still has half a million eight-tracks and cassette tapes in it!

Did you ever watch the late news on television on Christmas Eve? There’s usually some cheesy graphic there with a picture of Santa flying over some other country. In the eastern United States, I think he’s usually in the Czech Republic during our 11 o’clock newscast.

Well, I’m an insomniac and I often stay up late multi-tasking on my laptop while watching the History Channel or ESPN—even on Christmas Eve. I would love to get a text message to know when Santa is getting close to my hometown so I can get to bed on time. If Southwest can notify me of its flight arrivals by text message, I would think Santa could announce the progress of his reindeer with all those clever little engineers he has on staff.

Ordering is another issue. How many of you still have envelopes and stamps in your house? It’s been so long since I sent a letter that I have no idea how much it costs to send a letter. How much postage do you need to put on a letter to the North Pole anyway? It’s not even on the web site; I checked. Plus, there’s the issue of the post office losing your snail mail which happens an awful lot this time of year.

By the way Santa, I’m still waiting for the Benz I asked for last year. I knew I should have sent my Christmas list by Fed Ex.

With text messages, we could send in our Christmas lists to Santa Claus through a short code, say 72682 (S-A-N-T-A). With an easy-to-use mobile marketing solution like this, Santa could confirm receipt and even tell you if you’ve been…bad or good.

Maybe that’s what happened to my Benz.

Bob Bentz is president of Advanced Telecom Services which provides a do-it-yourself mobile marketing network ( to advertising agencies. He is a father with two children and he still believed in Santa Claus until last year when his Benz never arrived.

In order to use Twitter as a powerful mobile marketing tool you need to build a following on Twitter and then get your followers to turn on their device notifications for that Twitter account. Then each tweet you make is sent via SMS to your group of followers.

Just think how powerful it is to have your Twitter messages being delivered instantly to the mobile devices of your followers, not just waiting in the Twitterstream to possibly be noticed. You now know with almost certainty that your messages are being read.

When using Twitter as a mobile marketing tool you need to change your posting strategy just a bit knowing that each time you send a message everyone on the receiving end of the message is looking at their cell phone. No posting about what you ate for breakfast. Instead you need to keep your posts to only important items and ones that truly add value to your followers’ lives. It certainly can be done.

Without a doubt Twitter can be an excellent mobile marketing tool.

The only downfall of this strategy is that if anything ever happened to Twitter (beyond the fail whale) you would lose your list of followers. After all, without Twitter as a platform, you have no way to reach this group of people ever again.

So, if you like the idea of having a group of people you can send SMS messages to on a regular basis I suggest that you start your own text message list. In essence you would be creating your own Twitter stream direct to your groups’ cell phones. I suggest starting right away before everyone else is doing it.

To find out how to do this, you can sign up for my How to Build a Text Message List teleseminar here.