Aniston and Friends Speak up for VoxxyVoxxy.com, an interactive site for girls, is counting on Jennifer Aniston's voice, delivered via cell phones, to draw more teen-agers to its site.
Whenever Aniston is scheduled to participate in a live chat on the site -- generally once or twice a month -- girls who have opted in will receive a voice message from Aniston on their cell phones.
Voxxy, Venice, CA, is partnering with Zing Wireless, a wireless direct marketing and advertising network in Los Angeles, to deliver the voice message to both GoZing.com and Voxxy members. Voxxy has an agreement with the "Friends" actress to serve as a spokeswoman for the site, and Aniston usually brings guests, such as co-star Matthew Perry, to her chats.
"They get so swamped every time she chats. This would be an interesting opportunity to let their audience know ahead of time that there will be chats," said Gregg Lavin, co-founder of Zing Wireless.
Marketing via cell phones is an effective way to reach teen girls, said Voxxy founder Kristi Kaylor.
"The teen girl is a complete multi-tasker. She's on her MP3 player while she's reading a magazine and on the phone with friends," she said. "This wireless medium is great. It's not like just throwing an ad at them. It's a way to offer a service to our audience, to reach out to girls, wherever they are."
Although wireless text messaging is effective, Kaylor believes audio is also important. "We really believe the audio section of any communication is so powerful. Anytime we can offer audio, we do," she said.
Already, visitors to Voxxy -- 150,000 unique visitors a month -- can listen to frequently updated interviews with Aniston and see Flash pictures of her. Voxxy executives had considered providing streaming video of interviews with Aniston but believed it would be difficult for users to view.
"Most of the girls have 56K modems. When broadband is more out there in people's homes, we will absolutely move into streaming," Kaylor said.
An interstitial ad on Voxxy.com announces a list of offers that visitors can link to on GoZing, including the Aniston wireless service, as well as other third parties. Visitors can click to purchase a Voxxy T-shirt (with an image of Aniston wearing the shirt) through clothing company Deessee or can enter to win a trip to Los Angeles from Motorola and Hard Candy.
"Our users love these kinds of opportunities and keep coming back to see all the new things Voxxy offers," Kaylor said.
In addition to the Voxxy project, GoZing is partnering with movie studios to market new films to a targeted audience and conduct market research after users see the film.
"Real-time polling could be a very valuable asset, whether it's an election or a movie," Lavin said. After the opening weekend of a film, for example, GoZing could notify its members in a certain region or age range and offer $4 to participate in a survey about the film.
GoZing has run several other successful campaigns, including local promotions. When the L.A. Kings wanted to sell extra tickets for a game, they sent text messages to GoZing members' cell phones in the area the night before, offering a $5 discount on tickets. Out of the 1,500 people who received the messages, about 45 went to the box office to buy tickets. In addition, 20 percent visited the Kings' Web site.