The Wall Street Journal exclaims that Sony Ericsson are taking 'guerilla marketing to a whole new level' on thursday when they launch their new T68i phones in the US.
They'll send an army of attractive actors out on the pull - for their product.
On one end of the campaign, actors and actresses will spend their days in tourist spots, asking passers-by to take a picture of them with the phone's camera.
In another scenario, actors and actresses will invade bars, and chat people up with the help of their phones. This trick has been done before for various alcoholic drinks and herbal mineral waters, where actresses would invade the hot spots and try making a Jim Beam or Schweppes drink hip.
Fathom Communications created the guerilla plan of attack, and have more ammo where that came from.
One idea is to drop dummy phones around cities, and when a consumer (*aargh*) finds it, they can read on the screen a message that directs them to a website and allows them the opportunity to win a T68i phone.
Hopefully, no internet-lacking bums will be the first to find the phones, but an actual 'consumer'.
Lots of old stodgy folks warn about the fact that the punter [sorry I just can't cope with saying 'consumer'] might feel cheated when they realise they have been pitched a product after the fact, and thus get angry. Not the reaction SonyEricsson is hoping for, I'm sure.
"If the consumer finds out after the encounter, they are going to be mad" says David Lubars, bigwig at Publicis Groupe SA's Fallon Worldwide.
The newest of the new medias have always been people - that elusive word of mouth. Paying actors to spread it is not far fetched, but do we really need this many ads in our lives? On the back of parking tickets, on the holder of a hot coffee cup, on tv, on the web, in your mailbox, buzzing in the form of SpaSMS on your phone, and now, people might stop me and ask me to take their picture, and that too will be a sales pitch.
Hands up all ye, who wanted this phone before any ads every reached beyond regular press-release PR. *raises mine*.
Wow, could have saved sony a bundle there.