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SMS case study - Owl City

Owl City

Mobile fan club

Name and city and state of marketer:
Owl City, Owatonna, MN.

Campaign/program name:
Owl City Gibson SG Zoot Suit Guitar Giveaway.

Name and city and state of agency or marketing services firm:
Mozes Inc., Palo Alto, CA.

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Duration:
Nov. 9, 2009–Jan. 21, 2010

Common short code and keywords used:
Text the keyword OWLCITY to short code 66937 (MOZES).

Owl City

Owl City's widget

Objective:
To grow Owl City's mobile fan following.

Target audience:
Owl City fans.

Strategy:
The campaign had artist and management participation with MySpace bulletins, Facebook status updates, and the option to call lead singer Adam Young and leave him a message.

Owl City

Audience interaction via mobile

Consumers that signed up were thanked over Christmas with a wallpaper and holiday message from Adam Young.

Mobile calls-to-action:
On the Owl City official site: A stand-alone mobile page encourages fans to:
1. Enter their mobile number into the widget to opt-in to the band's mobile fan list
2. Call Adam Young at 507-216-4583 and leave him a message
3. Text @OWLCITY a message to 66937 to leave the band a message
4. Text OWLCITY to 66937 to join.

On the Owl City official MySpace music page: A customized widget embedded on the page encourages fans to
1. Enter their mobile number into the widget to opt-in to the band's mobile fan list
2. Call Adam Young at 507-216-4583 and leave him a message
3. Text @OWLCITY a message to 66937 to leave the band a message, as well as strategically placed banner ads directing traffic to mobile contest page where fans can enter.

On the mobile contest page: A customized widget embedded on page encourages fans to
1. Enter their mobile number into the widget to opt-in to the band's mobile fan list
2. Call Adam Young at 507-216-4583 and leave him a message
3. Text @OWLCITY a message to 66937 to leave the band a message

Results:
More than 8,000 fans participated in the contest. Owl City saw 52 percent growth in the size of its mobile fan list in nine weeks since the start of the campaign.

What next:
Universal Motown Republic Group plans to follow up with another engaging promotion that parallels the current activities of the band, for example their winter and spring tour and a rerelease of the deluxe version of the album.

Lessons learned:
A compelling concept and a dedicated fan base can create a large amount of genuine interaction between the artist and their fans.

Surprise finding:
It was surprising to see how dedicated Owl City’s fan base really is. The number of sign-ups in such a short amount of time was staggering.

Executive’s name, title and company for response attribution:
Chris Maehr, head of mobile marketing and strategy at Universal Motown Republic Group, New York.

Strategy quote from brand executive:
"The pairing of the right artist with a promotion that makes sense along with allowing Owl City’s fans to make the rest work proves that these kinds of mobile campaigns can be, not only successful, they can be easy to execute,” Mr. Maehr said.

What challenge did mobile address quote:
"Mobile allowed us to zero in on the dedicated fans that would participate in the manner we required to get the promotion off the ground,” Mr. Maehr said. “Mozes' easy-to-use platform and resources allow us to set these kinds of campaigns up on the backend within minutes.

“They allow us to focus on what we should be focusing on, promotion and execution," he said.

Links to more art and information related to this campaign:
http://www.owlcitymusic.com/mobile/, http://owlcitycontest.com/, http://www.myspace.com/owlcity

Editorial Assistant Chris Harnick covers content, gaming, media, television, music and social networks. Reach him at chris@mobilemarketer.com.

 
Related content: Case studies, Owl City, Mozes, Chris Maehr, case studies, Adam Young, SMS, messaging, mobile marketing, mobile

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