Perhaps it’s news to some WSJ readers that Asian youth “are hooked on their cellphones, yet they hardly ever talk on them,” but the paper is really looking at mobile phones as an advertising platform. Just as i-mode is cited as a role model for every Western mobile data, evidently now Asian ad agencies are sharing their experiences on advertising to mobile devices, and US marketers are eating it up. While Asian marketers have a head start on their counterparts around the globe when it comes to mobile marketing, there’s the perpetual “if it’s Asian, it must be excellent” trap in to which the Western mobile industry falls.
Yes, Korean and Japanese operators and content providers miss the target sometimes, with advertising being no exception. Indeed, the examples cited don’t sound so hot: text messages from a feminine-hygiene product maker to Japanese women about their “happy cycle”, and a campaign by a contact-lens maker to distribute handset accessories via its billboards near schools. The WSJ says the company’s market share “jumped to 36% from 32%,” implying some causality — but do free phone tchotchkes really sell more contact lenses? Full story Here.
If you can handle the sarcasm and lack of attention to detail regarding innovations from Asia that have been poo-pooed by western journos in the past (ie: camera phones: “Ya, those Japanese like taking pictures but it will never catch on outside Asia…”) — Eds