Tis’ the season to be jolly, so goes the festive anthem. But this Christmas is set to be a much more austere period for consumers as the mobile world prepares to feel the pain in the crucial gifting season.
As Mobile exclusively revealed in its last issue (14 October), Microsoft will be the most prominent Christmas advertiser with at least £28m being splashed out on ads for its Mango handsets with partners Nokia and Samsung.
Mobile understands that its closest competitor will be Motorola, which is set to pump £12m into advertising its new ultra-thin RAZR smartphone across Europe – this time without the help of David Beckham but with a somewhat risqué emphasis on sex.
Retailers will benefit from the massive spend with posters and gift guide ads being created en-masse, but as the recessionary climate begins to creep back in, pre-Christmas promotions are shifting towards incentive-led models.
Mobile takes a look at the marketing strategies being adopted by retailers, manufacturers and operators as they battle it out for lucrative Christmas custom.
Nokia is understood to be gearing up for battle with the catchphrase ‘The Sun will rise and set. The rest is up for grabs’ in its ad push for Mango, while Samsung’s Omnia W campaign will follow the premise of previous Omnia ads. Both will focus on the youth market to showcase the new capabilities of Microsoft’s operating system.
Microsoft will also take to the screens with a multi-product ad showing off all its offerings. The company is spending $9bn globally on the commercial, which features Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox for Kinect and Office to demonstrate an interconnected family scenario.
Not wanting to miss out on the Christmas rush, Motorola will also be back on TV screens. In its first ad with new owners Google, the new RAZR phone will be promoted with a ‘Sexy is Back’ tagline. Showcasing the handset’s capabilities alongside scenes of a somewhat sexual nature, the push aims to drive sales of the handset to a level akin to its predecessor – and not echo the limp sales of the Defy, targeted at the youth market as being damage-proof, but ultimately failing to prove this contention.
HTC has also unveiled ads for its Windows Mango phones, the Titan and the Radar, complemented by air sponsorship idents for Channel 4 films during the festive season that showcase its
‘Missing Our Deals Will Haunt You’ is Phones 4u’s biggest pre-Christmas ad campaign to date, valued at £5.2m, and will play on the ghosts in much-loved Dickens novel A Christmas Carol to tease customers into stores.
Meanwhile, Carphone Warehouse is set to spend less – believed to be around £2m – focusing on loyalty and highlighting its £200 gift card offer for new contract customers.
Both the independent retailers are set to focus on competitive bundles throughout the period, adapting print-based marketing every day as rival shops and operators unveil their various price plans and special offers to lure in shoppers.
For the networks, loyalty schemes will be the core message conveyed in TV marketing with giveaways tied into new bundles.
Vodafone is supporting the launch of its rewards scheme, Freebee Rewardz, with a £3m campaign, giving pay-as-you-go customers a code to access a range of deals and discounts every time they top-up.
O2 will counter the ad with a festive-themed Priority Moments rewards push, while Orange will reiterate its expanded film offering for customers with its iTunes movie download deal and T-Mobile will plug its “You Fix” price plans. Three kicked off an integrated campaign across all media with a high profile TV spot last Saturday (22 October) promoting itself as the fastest growing network for customers and pushing its ‘all-you-can-eat’ data packages.
Press ads will be widely used to champion price plans for this season’s power handsets across all the networks.
The hot handsets for Christmas
• Motorola RAZR (pictured)
• Nokia Windows handsets
• HTC Titan/Radar
• Apple iPhone 4S
• Samsung Omnia W
• Samsung Galaxy S II
• BlackBerry Curve 9360/ Bold 9900