an almost perfect mobile campaign

 In advertising

A few weeks ago I came across a mobile anti-knife campaign from the Central Office of Information (COI) here in the UK called “it doesn’t have to happen” (IDHTH).  You can see the campaign at idhth.mobi (looks best on your mobile).

The campaign is being seeded across mobile sites – you can see the call to action (admob ad) on the left here as shown on one of my mobile sites.  The campaign is well thought out – simple website (and a .mobi) to go to and once there, the campaign (directly aimed at youth) allows you to download a “pocket beats java soundboard”.

Pity my Nokia E71 was not “cool” enough to allow me to download the application – luckily I have a Nokia N79 handy that is cool so I could download it.  The application is clearly aimed at the youth segment and allows you to create “beatz” and sounds – with a subtle but clear message about knife crime and why “it doesn’t have to happen”.

Knife related crime has become a big problem in the UK, so hats off to the COI for launching this initiative.

The reason I labelled the campaign as “almost” perfect is that I received the ad on my Nokia E71 phone.  You can look at this two ways – I am clearly not in the target group (and this is where age targeting would have ensured I did not receive the ad, instead of just targeting by site, operator or device type).

On the other hand, I DID see the ad, you are reading this post and hopefully will tell someone in the target group and together we can help top tackle the issue of knife crime in the UK.  So in this particular case broad targeting seems to have worked.

When truly profiled mobile advertising is adopted (by profiling users with permission), then this sort of advertising has the potential to be even more targeted.  It was interesting to read in Campaign magazine recently that Yahoo! is revamping their mobile offering to provide better targeting capabilities.  We should expect to see more of this in the future – and perhaps Google will extend their behavioural targeting approach to mobile.

When I first mentioned this campaign on Twitter, within minutes @mawkins tweeted that the campaign was developed by Saint at RKCR/Y&R and MIG.  The campaign also has an online component at www.itdoesnthavetohappen.co.uk which redirects to a dedicated Bebo site.

Please forward this blog post, or the mobile site idhth.mobi to others to help spread the message.

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Based in London, Practical Futurist and former Global Managing Partner at IBM, Andrew Grill is a popular and sought-after presenter and commentator on issues around digital disruption, workplace of the future and new technologies such as blockchain. Andrew is a multiple TEDx and International Keynote Speaker.