Can these ads really tempt Americans to SMS?

Text messaging isn't all too popular in the states we hear, while mini-keyboard beepers have carried text messages for a long time, people use their cell phones - or "wireless phones" if you prefer, though Europeans call them mobiles - to actually make (*gasp!*) voice calls with. So what is a company that serves prepaid cell phone packages with unlimited SMS services - I'm sorry "text messages" - to do in order to get attention? Prepaid mobile phone and cheap phone cards have been around for ages in Europe, and Europeans SMS more often than they make voice calls (though these days all the cool kids MMS, multimedia message service), perhaps that is what i-wireless took to heart when they decided to run a campaign that looks like an Americans idea of a European campaign.

The idea here is to illustrate SMSes - as you can see one is bait, and the other is jewelry. Swallows and Trophy. Double dip and You wish. You should be able to read these on your own by now, but here goes - last one is Excuse. Gee Jeffery & Partners who created the ads are trying to talk to the teens - we guess - with these "text messaging" ideas. Now, male teens are probably very preoccupied with boobies, or so I've heard.. But the obvious male targeting of the campaign isn't really what bothers me. What bothers me is this: hu d feck spLz out d full wrds wen dey snd sms? Wht a gr8 way of missing d lingo. They might be speaking the (male) targets visual language but the text headlines fall short. Since when was bling back to being jewelry by the way? I know it's old and overused but I must have missed a memo. Another part of the campaign is the commercial (QT) on their site, it depicts a snowboarder during off season.


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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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yaksox's picture

Heh. That's interesting that texting isn't such a big thing in the US. That was one of the main motivators behind me getting a mobile. I'm trying to do SMS haikus but there's no button for line-breaks.
People would go balistic on an unlimited texting plan here. There was a story in the news about a couple of kids (young teens) who ran up some huge bill ($1500 - 2000) just texting -- sitting at opposite ends of the couch and texting each other all night.

I agree re: missing the opportunity to hook into the lingo. And y'know (probably rightly) we're always told that woman are better communicators than guys, and so more likely to be the first to adopt and figure out a new communications tech.. like SMS -- with guys lagging along later. That sounds about right to me.
So maybe these images won't net too many new customers.

aiiobo's picture

Those ads are the worst I've seen in a while. I have no idea what is selling.

Hidden Persuader's picture

At my agency I work with a big portuguese telecom operator (ok it's the incumbent player in our market), therefore on a daily basis I get all sorts of cliping and research reports on mobile phones trends: who? why? when? bla bla bla ... and it was quite interesting to find out that the American youth is not really into SMS and MMS services, whilst here in Europe, SMS and ringtones are the most profitable services for these telecom operator companies. Kids organize their daily social agenda through exchanged messages, more than using voice services :] sms 4ever

Hidden Persuader's picture

Kids here in Portugal already use the expression "what a key board 3, that guy is" .. which means "def" (if you look at the mobile phone key board).

Dabitch's picture

Funny! I've seen it used here as a hand-signal, that is someone points at something that is "def" or a guy and then flips up three fingers to indicate that they are "def". hehe!

caffeinegoddess's picture

If this company serves prepaid cell phone packages with unlimited SMS services- where's the connection to that in the ads? Unlimited seems like it would be a good thing to touch on and it's completely ignored in these ads. And if txting is not so big in the US, it seems that they are targeting a very small percent of people, even teens, with these ads- since you'd already have to know the "code" to "get it".

But what the ads have to do with SMS, besides headlines written in some sort of SMS format? And it's for that reason these ads stink. I suppose if they were intended to be a teaser campaign, then I guess they wouldn't stink quite as much, but no where have I heard that- anyone know if that was the intention?

And I agree with Dab and Yaksox on not hooking into the real SMS lingo. Heck, even the Progressive ads on TV use SMS lingo - and they sell car insurance. Also Yak's comment about not targeting the women is dead on. I think that they are missing an important segment of possible consumers by just going after the boys.

AnonymousCoward's picture

FYI, people in the US are texting like animals these days. I've basically given up talking altogether. Hell, they don't even need to advertise it in the first place. I think the creative team just wanted to do some tit photography.

AnonymousCoward's picture

I am at a loss as to why anyone would want to text. Ya'all must have super expensive cell (what we call them in the states) plans. I can assure you that nobody over here is taking the time to plunk at their cell when they could just hit dial and get a live body on the other end - I travel extensivley around the US, this isn't just a nearsighted opinion of my region. An exception I'ver heard of is high school kids texting during class, though the most commonline seems to be, "call me later." I don't think that everyone on the continent is an introvert, so it must just be the thing to do?

An exception would be checking email via a Blackberry device, people that need to stay up-to-date with their business e-mail are addicted to the things.

In answer to the question posed by this string - those ads would be met by nothing but negativity.

Taking the middle ad with the panties and erasing the numbers in the middle would probably work well as it provides enough tantalizing mystery to the male (and female?) mind that we would look for the website logo at the bottom right and surf by it sometime.

texting... what a waste of time

AnonymousCoward's picture

Here i am speaking for everyone in the US, and, well, obviously I shouldn't be - perhaps it's a wave, coming from the east - but none of my friends out there have caught on, so maybe just in some circles.

Out here in the land of Microsoft it's all about Blackberries, but maybe this text thing will come around?

Neo's picture

For all the reasons everyone already mentioned, these ads fail in branding explaining and selling the prospect of unlimited text messages.

Oh sorry, I think I misspelled "me too".

Junkman's picture

These ads are sexist junk

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