FHM, a British men's monthly published by Emap, is using mobile voting for the first time to garner votes for its 10th annual FHM 100 Sexiest Women in the World feature.
Readers can send an SMS message with the names of all the women they wish to vote for to a five-digit short code printed in the magazine. Nominations also are allowed via mail and the site at www.fhm.com as done in the past.
“Mobile voting will help FHM to develop closer relationships between their readers and the FHM brand, and also to encourage readers to be loyal to FHM,” said David Barker, commercial director of Flytxt, the mobile marketing firm on the FHM job.
FHM targets males with an average age of 26, though readers span the 15-34 age group. The magazine costs $6 and claims a monthly circulation of 601,166, according to Audit Bureau of Circulations filings for July-December 2003. Readership is put at 3 million.
The FHM 100 issue, which reports the voting results, is the magazine's best selling of the year. Last year's FHM 100 vote attracted more than 2 million readers. They voted Hollywood actress Halle Berry as their favorite.
Readers can vote for any women. They pay 50 cents to send in a vote. This is a mobile operator cost and not one charged by FHM. Mobile voting will take place until results are announced in May.
“No magazine currently uses mobile voting on this scale,” Barker said.
Flytxt is known for executing campaigns for British clients in packaged goods, print and broadcast media, retail, entertainment, business-to-business, government, transport, charity, financial services and publishing. The firm recently ran smaller-scale mobile voting efforts for brands like Sneak, Kerrang! and MaxPower.
Barker thinks the FHM mobile voting campaign will resonate with its target.
“The typical FHM reader has a strong sense of adventure, fashion and fun,” he said. “He wants to be entertained without wasting his time, and most of all he wants ammunition to stay ahead. Mobile is an ideal medium for speaking to FHM's target audience, as it allows them to stay close to their busy readers anywhere and anytime.”