Big State Festival targets country fans via mobile

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When C3 Presents began managing The Big State Festival, a two-day country music concert with more than 50 artists in Bryan-College Station, TX, its biggest goal was to build awareness of the show and drive eyeballs to its other events including Austin City Limits Music Festival, and Lollapalooza.

This campaign required extensive targeting. C3 found a way to discern its prospects music tastes and reach them on the most personal device: their cell phones.

"With Big State being a country music and lifestyle festival, we knew early on we couldn't blast our marketing across a wide spectrum," said Kevin Brown, director of interactive marketing at C3. "Everything we do has to be targeted to country music fans and geographically too."

C3 partnered with music download program MyxerTones, which recently announced a mobile ad model that allows for brand sponsorship opportunities and lets marketers target mobile consumers with multi-modal campaigns that span from the Web to SMS to the mobile Web.

"We knew that we could target better than most channels with mobile and that mobile response rates are often 5 to10 times that of traditional mediums," Brown told DM News. "This was an experiment for us, but one we're thrilled we took."

Texas is C3's primary market for this particular festival. It is focusing on Houston, Austin, Dallas, and all the small towns in between. In addition, college students at Texas A&M and the University of Texas are huge markets for country festivals.

MyxerTones has more than 2 million users, who download more than six million ring tones and wallpaper images monthly. It leverages the Myxer Mobile Content Delivery Platform to simplify the delivery of any mobile content, no matter which carrier or network the phone is on. C3 plans to measure the campaign's results via direct clicks from the MyxerTones' site, WAP site views, and ticket sales.

The C3 campaign began with banner ads targeted on the MyxerTones Web site that appear as users are searching for ring tones. When a fan downloads a country ring tone in a geographically targeted area, they will see a small mobile ad on their phone. They can then click the mobile ad to visit the WAP site to learn more. The campaign discussions began in March and the ads rolled out in June and runs indefinitely.

Brown said that the campaign has been hugely successful so far. The opportunities are to get in front of a new audience and drive a great deal of traffic and awareness.

"Because maintaining a good user experience is so important for us, we've designed our ad delivery to operate so that it minimizes intrusion and interruption and also gives flexibility to the advertiser," said Myk Willis, founder and CTO of Myxer.

"We know our users' tastes, so even if they're downloading a hip-hop ring tone today, we might know from previous downloads that they also like classical music, and we can target the advertising accordingly," Willis said.

Other Myxer offerings include MyxerTags, which let musicians, brands and other rights holders share and sell their content as ring tones or wallpaper images directly from their own sites, and MyxerCodes for promoting ring tones using text messages. MVisible Technologies is the company behind Myxer and is based in Deerfield Beach, FL.

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