Mittwoch, Dezember 19, 2007

Worldwide usage of SMS shortcodes - also to fight AIDS

Sometimes I wonder about the reasons why many countries of the world show very different SMS shortcode usages. Of course it is understood, that in some countries major ringtone provider like Jamba in Germany have greately influenced the market and especially younger people with their extensive TV advertisements on various music channels like MTV or VIVA. On the other side there are countries where premium SMS and mobile services are the only way to get money from all citizens, even the poorer ones, who often even do not have a bank account. Some countries in Asia and China show this kind of payment method for different products and commercial services. South Africa and some countries within the United Kingdom show another interesting phenomenon: Here SMS shortcodes are often used as an ad-on to normal image campaigns and advertisements as just another channel to connect with the customer. SMS success rates are easy to track and deliver interesting marketing information. Therefore many advertisements come along with an SMS shortcode the customer is supposed to use to get further information or in order to receive further benefits. Interestingly enough the biggest concert in Johannesburg, South Africa on World´s AIDS Day, 1st of december of this year, put the shortcode 46664 in the middle of the attention in order to collect donations. The way people donate money is by sending a R20 premium rated SMS to 46664 on any network. [1] 46664 is Nelson Mandela's global HIV AIDS awareness programme launched through the Nelson Mandela Foundation in 2002. It aims to inspire individual and collective action towards an AIDS free world, by raising awareness about the pandemic and promoting prevention. [2] 46664 was the prison number of Nelson Mandela on Robben Island, Cape Town where he was held in captivity for 18 years. He was the 466th prisoner to be incarcerated on the island in 1964. [3] Looking over to Great Britain it is fascinating to watch how millions of people do a wireless search request with their mobile phone by texting a question to one of three very successfull SMS answering services. hiogi is trying to do the same in Germany with the 44044. A community answers any question that is being send to the 44044. However the mindset of people in Germany seems not to be open for new services like SMS knowledge..... YET! ;-)

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