Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Lexus’s Run at the US Open Could Backfire

Lexus is the official vehicle of the 2006 US Open and the presenting sponsor of the “US Open Men's Singles Championship to serve up promos right down the baseline of the tennis event.” As a way to enhance their sponsorship at the event, the “automaker launched the Lexus Insider Alert, a cell phone application that alerts attendees to Lexus activities on-site.”

Now, in theory, having alerts sent to consumers’ phones is an innovative idea. People usually do not receive a lot of advertisements on their phone. Some the message comes across clutter free. It is also an interested, targeted market who had to give up their cell number.

The one problem I have is what is going to happen when the people forget to turn off their phones and an alert comes on while they are watching a match? Can you tell me it won’t happen? What if multiple phones go off after an alert is sent during the match.

Now I know what you are saying – Lexus’ promotional team is smart enough to send alerts at the beginning or at the end of the day. How many be will remember to visit the Lexus’ tent after receiving the alert and there is no guarantee they won’t delete the message immediately.

One other question: Most people who buy Lexus’ are upper middle class or higher. I would say at least 75 percent of them own cells phones, but how many know how to receive text messages? I bet the percent would be surprisingly low. I wonder what are Lexus’ goals for this promotion…


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