Aerodeon Plans SMS Effort for P&G

Procter & Gamble Co. hired British mobile marketing agency Aerodeon Inc. to launch its first short message service direct response television sampling campaign for Ariel Quickwash, a new tablet detergent in Britain.

The effort will target busy mothers who are sophisticated with text messaging, encouraging them to try a detergent that reduces the average wash cycle time.

“We're helping P&G address how to get samples of a new product into the hands of the target market cost-effectively,” said Andrew Jones, president of London- and New York-based Aerodeon.

The DRTV spots on British terrestrial TV networks will include an SMS call to action to ask viewers to text in for a free sample of Quickwash. Airing this fall, the ads let consumers select through SMS the product variant they prefer: color, biological or non-biological.

P&G's campaign is unique in that the target for SMS efforts largely has been teens and young adults, both considered the early adopters of such communications. Aerodeon previously has worked with P&G on SMS campaigns for Pringles and Sunny Delight aimed at this demographic.

“More recently,” Jones said, “mums have caught the SMS bug, spurred on by the need to communicate with their kids.”

Formed in London in February 2000, Aerodeon has run SMS TV campaigns for toy maker Mattel the past two years. Earlier this year, AT&T Wireless hired the shop to work on its sponsorship of “American Idol 2” on Fox.

Aerodeon's AeroDrive technology has three components. AeroIQ lets an agency research and plan a wireless campaign. It comes with case studies, demographics, best practices guidelines and a demonstration.

The second module is AeroEngine. Considered the heart of the platform, this carrier-grade software helps agencies create, execute and manage campaigns. It is integrated with all major wireless carriers.

Finally, there is AeroTrack. A Web-based reporting tool, it has options like pack variations, time-based analysis and prize poll comparisons.

Aerodeon, which also does work for Sara Lee and Nestle, has more than 1.5 million aggregated opted-in consumers in its media-owned SMS databases in Britain. The agency opened a New York office in July.

Jones is confident that mobile marketing has a bright future, especially for packaged goods marketers looking to move with their market. The upcoming introduction of short codes in the United States indicates a step up for wireless marketing.

“We believe that for many marketing communications challenges, cell phones are the most effective channel,” Jones said. “And as the technology evolves — photos, video, location, commerce — cell phones will be responsible for a revolution in the way that products are promoted and purchased.”

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