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Sony Ericsson's new mantra -- 'FingerTALK'

By Ashwini Gangal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | October 24, 2011
Earlier, it was all about ears and hands, since people spoke more on the phone; now, it is all about eyes and hands as people text more than they talk.

Sony Ericsson's latest ad film for Xperia smartphones promotes the concept of 'finger talking', born out of a specific consumer insight that the purpose of mobile phone use is not just talking, but has been replaced by several other activities such as texting, e-mailing, networking on social media, downloading data, chatting via instant messenger, blogging, connecting through a unique status update, exploring applications and what not. In short, it's all about 'finger talking'.

"Earlier, it was all about ears and hands, as people spoke more on the phone; now, it is all about eyes and hands as people text more than they talk -- ears have been replaced by eyes," says Prasun Kumar, head, marketing, Sony Ericsson India.

The mobile phone brand has taken this concept of 'finger talking' across platforms.

Keeping this in mind, and in a move to promote its range of Xperia smartphones, handset brand Sony Ericsson has launched an activation -- 'Fastest Finger on FB', which will be executed as a mall activation. The updates that consumers type on the Sony Ericsson Facebook or Twitter pages will pop up on giant screens that will be installed in malls. Striking or witty messages will receive rewards.

Another consumer engagement initiative is the 'Slingshot', wherein consumers can type any message on a Sony Ericsson device attached to a virtual slingshot -- that is, a system that 'slings' the message onto a large screen at the mall.

These initiatives will be extended through the festive season -- from Diwali until the New Year.

College outreach programmes, and those around other youth-points are in store. At the retail level, besides in-store demonstrations, 'product glorifiers' that physically bring alive the proposition of individual devices are being installed. Also, reinforcing the proposition are radio spots and print creatives.

Besides promoting its range of Xperia smartphones, additional objectives of this campaign include introducing two new product offerings in the same range, and announcing Sony Ericsson's collaboration with Bharti Airtel that bears various kinds of benefits for Airtel customers.

The overall marketing spend for this campaign is earmarked at over Rs 10 crore, spread over this quarter - October-December. Forty per cent of this spend will go towards TV, 20 per cent towards retail-level activities, 15 per cent will be for digital, and another 15 per cent for BTL activations. Further, radio and PR (public relations) will each receive five per cent of the budget.

Commenting on the brand's digital spends, Kumar confides, "We have invested a disproportionately high amount of our marketing spends into digital marketing, as online is where we drive most of our consumer engagement and connect."

The brand spent 2-3 per cent of its entire budget on digital initiatives last year, as well as during a major part of this year, and this figure has been consciously upped to 15 per cent this time. Explaining the reasons for this, Kumar says, "Our audience is online, and this is where many purchase decisions are being made." Adding that the brand's online spends will further increase in the times to come, he says, "Today, the benchmark for spending on digital initiatives set by consumer brands is around 5-7 per cent; we clearly exceed that."

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