Publicis Groupe is rolling out its mobile marketing agency Phonevalley in Asia and opening offices in Shanghai, Singapore and Mumbai.
The Asian offices will be managed by Devashish Sarkar, regional director, Asia/Pacific based in Singapore, who has worked in China, India, Indonesia and Singapore. Asia/Pacific is a "critical region for innovation in the mobile field," he said.
"Marketers are used to operating SMS campaigns and they now target the most influential parts of the population through search and display campaigns."
Asia has over 1.3 billion mobile subscribers, including 616 million in China alone. About 84.5 million Chinese, or 30% of the country's internet users, use their mobile phones to connect to the internet, according to China's Telecom Research Institute, part of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
In the first eight months of this year, 68.7 million new cell phones were registered in the mainland. China has 275 million internet users, about 85% of whom use broadband.
India, meanwhile, has generated 100 million new mobile subscribers over the last 12 months, for a of about 290 million.
In China, Phonevalley has already started working with Puma. The German sportswear brand created a mobile platform during the Shanghai Formula 1 Grand Prix this month to increase its brand awareness in China and promote its connection with the F1 race.
Puma is the official licensee of replica and fan merchandise as well as the supplier of apparel, footwear and accessories for the Formula 1 team Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro.
The campaign included a mobile internet site, in-game advertising, mobile coupons and banners, a search function and a store locator -- all centered around an "F Wan" slogan. (Wan means "play" in Mandarin).
Since Puma is a latecomer to China's sportswear market, which is dominated by two foreign brands, Nike and Adidas, and two strong local players, Li Ning and Anta, the mobile site was designed to introduce Chinese to the Puma brand and culture. Media planning was handled by Zenith Media, while McCann Erickson's Can Create division oversaw creative for the campaign.
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