Thursday, March 03, 2005

Point, Click, Sell

From USA Camera phones click with contests.

Point. Click. Sell. Big advertisers are starting to turn to camera cell phones as the latest way to reach consumers

The newest is Pontiac, which launches a "Catch a G6" sweepstakes with a $1 million prize Friday aimed straight at camera cell phone users.

The winner will be picked from those who snap and transmit a shot of its edgy G6 sedan with their mobile phone.

The General Motors division follows Toyota, Kodak and Qwest among companies that have run camera cell phone campaigns. The campaigns typically are directed at younger, tech-savvy customers.

So far, results appear mixed because camera cell phones are still catching on. Last year, the worldwide market for camera cell phones was 215 million, says Keith Nowak, spokesman for mobile phone maker Nokia. By 2008, sales are expected to hit 600 million.

Like other new technology, camera cell phones have had to "play the same waiting game" of acceptance, but now are ubiquitous enough that advertisers can use them, says Jay Conrad Levinson, co-author of the Guerilla Marketing series of business books

Just wait till you see what role the camera phone will play in advertising.

The "Catch a G6" promotion will urge anyone who sees one of the cars — on the street, in a showroom, at one of the special events planned in major cities or anywhere else — to take its picture and e-mail it to a Web site,, by March 18. The winner will be chosen at random.

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