Draft Manages Iridium Launch

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DraftWorldwide, Chicago, is providing direct marketing services for the launch of Iridium, the first satellite-based global hand-held telephone system.

The service, which uses 66 satellites to track the location of all Iridium handsets and pagers, will allow customers to send and receive calls from virtually anywhere in the world. Customers will be able to use the system for voice calls, faxes, data transmissions and alphanumeric pages. Iridium, based in Washington, DC, was created through an international consortium of telecommunications and industrial companies. The largest investor is Motorola.

The launch, which was created and orchestrated by general agency Ammirati Puris Lintas, began to break in 45 markets June 22. The campaign targets global business travelers for the service, which reportedly costs up to $3,000 for the device with per-minute charges of up to $7.

The tag line for all the different forms of media is "Calling Planet Earth," which was chosen for its clarity and its reflection of the system's breadth, said Rob Quish, executive vice president and multinational client director for Ammirati Puris Lintas.

"The tag line had to be clear, and this was. It had to be simple and translatable into many languages," he said. "Also, it had to show the scope and vastness of Iridium."

The direct marketing assignment will include branded direct mail solicitations as well as fulfillment for both consumer and business market prospects. Some fulfillment materials are being prepared in as many as 13 languages for use in 50 countries. DraftWorldwide is using the resources from a variety of its offices, including New York, Hong Kong, Brazil, Germany and India, for the project.

Broadcast advertising will be placed on television channels like CNBC, Discovery and BBC World, which draw viewers who travel, particularly for business, Quish said. Outdoor advertising, interactive media and event sponsorships -- such as the sponsoring of business conferences organized by Dow Jones -- also will be used to market the product. Unique partnerships are being formed as well, such as one with Discovery's Eco-Challenge, a program in which novice adventurers team up to tackle a project. The teams in the program will use the Iridium system in the field.

DraftWorldwide's data technology services group also is working with Iridium on inbound telemarketing, database management and lead sourcing and referral.

Another satellite-based global hand-held phone system, Globestar LP, is expected to launch next year.

Separately, DraftWorldwide announced this week that it has acquired Feedback SPRL, Brussels, Belgium. Founded in 1990, Feedback is an integrated marketing agency emphasizing direct and relationship marketing. Clients include Club Med and Mobistar cellular phone.

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