The new face of Motorola

Handset maker partners with pop star Jay Chou

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BEIJING--Motorola Corp. has appointed pop star Jay Chou as its brand ambassador in Greater China to promote its music platform launched earlier this year, as well as improve its image among young Chinese trendsetters.

The partnership with Mr. Chou will bring “very cool things” to Motorola consumers in Greater China, according to Michael Tatelman, Beijing-based corporate VP-general manager of the marketer’s mobile devices business in North Asia.

As the star of Motorola’s upcoming ad campaigns in this region, created by Ogilvy & Mather, Beijing, Mr. Chou will champion the music experience delivered by Motorola’s handsets and Motomusic (www.motomusic.com.cn), the first and largest legal music download site in mainland China. The site already offers Mr. Chou’s song portfolio to all Motorola mobile users but the platform now features a dedicated Jay Chou space with extras like ring tones, music videos, exclusive footage and interviews.

Motorola will offer first access to all of Mr. Chou’s new tracks by making them available on Motomusic before they can be found anywhere else. On his next album, “Still Fantasy,” the artist dedicated a song to Motorola called “BenCaoGangMu-Compendium of Materia Medica.”

Also, a Jay Chou-branded version of the MP3-player handset Motorokr E2 is available in mainland China from Sept. 1-Oct. 7, preloaded with a Jay Chou ring tone, full track, screen savers and bonus video. The phone’s release will coincide with the launch of cobranded Motorola and Jay Chou accessories such as phone holders, T-shirts, caps, and backpacks reflecting the artist’s hip-hop style.

The alliance was announced last week at a lavish event in Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall. The venue was transformed into a classical opera theater, featuring masked staff in capes and gold-painted models posing with iconic Motorola handsets.

Motorola once controlled half of China’s mobile phone market but by early last year, it was trailing Finnish rival Nokia and barely keeping pace with popular Asian models made by South Korea’s Samsung Group and Japan’s Sony Corp. It also faced strong competition from Chinese brands like TCL and Bird.

Even worse, Motorola was the most popular brand only among Chinese consumers aged 55 and older, a dire situation in a market led by young urban teens and young adults. Motorola hopes its new music-based strategy will give it an edge against the strengths of rivals, namely Nokia’s game-oriented phones and Sony’s innovative entertainment content.
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