Journal: News & Comment

Wednesday, May 24, 2006
# 1:10:00 PM:

Shilling for Nokia, maybe

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phoneA marketing company called Matchstick in Toronto seems to be trying a bit of blog buzz marketing for the Nokia 6682 cell phone. I received some email from them a few days ago, and today spoke to a polite rep on the phone who asked me a bunch of questions about this blog, the technologies I use, other Vancouver and Toronto bloggers, and cell phones.

The idea seems to be that selected techie bloggers (perhaps like me) might get a free 6682 phone to try out, blog about, comment on, etc. in exchange for mentioning our experiences and maybe posting an ad for a free Bluetooth headset offer or some such. (Roland is already involved in this sort of thing, and doesn't pull any punches.)

On their site, Matchstick quotes from an old Harvard Business Review article:

Many people believe that buzz is largely serendipitous. Not so. We have found that buzz is increasingly the result of carefully managed marketing programs.

Seed the vanguard. All customers are not created equal. Some—the vanguard—have a disproportionate ability to shape public opinion. Increasingly, marketers are recognizing that getting their products into the hands of the vanguard can pay off exponentially in how the mass market ultimately responds.

Ooh ooh, call me the vanguard. It's better than foolishly early adopter, I guess.

Now, I've had ads on this site for a long time, so if they asked me to try this out, I wouldn't object—and of course I'd make it perfectly clear what was going on. On the other hand, I'm a bit of a cell phone Luddite who'd prefer a rugged, long-battery-life, simple, black-and-white phone to one of the Nokia suckers. But for free? We'll, I'd certainly give it a shot.

It also turns out that Tony at work has a 6682 already, and quite likes it. It takes pretty nice photos (for a phone), syncs well via Bluetooth with his Mac, and does a bunch of other smartphone-type stuff. Apparently it does scratch easily, though. Just like an iPod.


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