In Asia, tiny cellphone screens have become electronic wallets that buy Coke from vending machines and contests that dole out McDonald’s coupons on the phone screen to winners. A recent ad even encourages Japanese to use their cellphones to download a dancing spiny-legged mushroom named Docomo-dake, the mascot of wireless carrier NTT DoCoMo Inc.
Cellphones’ ubiquity in Asia can provide a link between traditional ad channels, such as print and broadcast. Pfizer Inc.’s Acuvue contact lenses created a campaign for Japanese teens to “become part of the group, get talked about and get involved in their cellphones,” says Rikiya Ikeda, media-planning director at Pfizer ad agency Universal-McCann Japan, a unit of Interpublic Group of Cos. The agency attached freebie cellphone accessories to billboards near schools; the accessories showed Acuvue’s Web address. Acuvue’s market share of two-week lenses jumped to 36% from 32%.