Conversations at the Intersection of PR, Traditional & New Media

Mobile Phones – the next big platform for Communications

Mobile communicationsWe are all living a Mobile Life, sharing all important and less important moments of life through pictures, posts, likes and comments across social media platforms. Checking in to locations and sharing experiences of visiting a specific venue, food reviews and more, consumers have become media themselves. Mobile phone is becoming a content consumption machine. This presents a great opportunity for brands to reach out to the advocates, reward loyal customers who could propagate their brand.

Recent industry reports state that India has 51 million smart phone users which make up 17 % of all mobile users in urban India, even the figures for non-metro India stands at 13 percent. Of the total user base, increasing number of users are using internet through their mobile phones and the user base is projected to touch 243 million by June 2014, a year-on-year growth of 28 per cent as per IAMAI report.

Some brands have acknowledged this trend and the mass reach of mobile phone as a platform. For example, Hindustan Unilever (HUL) has launched the largest radio station in Bihar in terms of subscribers called Kan Khajura Tesan, or ‘centipede station’. The Economic Times in its article  explained, how it works: any mobile phone user in Bihar can give a missed call to a specific number to immediately get a return call that will play Kan Khajura Tesan for 15 minutes. Besides a series of entertainment programmes, the channel of course plays advertisements of HUL brands

Another brand, Life OK!, a Hindi entertainment channel, launched the Bachelorette Chat Buddy on chat app Nimbuzz for the show The Bachelorette, a dating reality show featuring Mallika Sherawat.

What’s more, even political parties are exploring mobile messaging apps such as Whatsapp to contact the voters, a recent article by The Economic Times reported that both Congress and BJP are alreadycontacting voters through their WhatsApp. With Congress (8398989898) and Mission 272+ (7820078200) respectively. Many International brands such as Starbucks, McDonalds, Nike are already using mobile apps for consumer engagement.

Indian brands are realizing the value and potential of mobile phone as a direct and mass engagement platform. For instance, Domino’s Pizza launched a mobile application to order the pizza from mobile. The user just needed to download the app on their mobile to see the latest offer / combo and order the favourite pizza. The objective was to reach out and distribute the app amongst the android users.

The latest example is the World’s first mobile app launched to promote the Bollywood film Youngistaan starring Jackky Bhagnani, Neha Sharma, Late Farooq Sheikh and Kayoze Irani in lead roles. The app serves as a platform for movie fans to interact with each other and of course serves a one stop shop for vital information about the movie, cast, trailers, news etc.

PR professionals can play an important role in leveraging mobile as part of recommended strategy and daily work. Have you worked on any interesting campaigns for mobile apps, please do share your experiences?



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Categorised in: Opinions, PRQuest, Vikypedia Exclusives

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Disclaimer: The thoughts expressed by me in this blog are my personal views and do not represent the views of my employer or the organizations I have been associated with. I believe in the principle of sharing information. Feel free to link to any of the posts in this blog.
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