Could IPhone Up Mobile-Marketing Stakes? Land Rover, Others Think So

Apple Device's Share Is Tiny, but Its Graphics, Apps Offer Brands Big Ad Possibilities

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If some early returns from Land Rover and 20th Century Fox are to be believed, Apple's iPhone will raise the stakes for marketers that go mobile.

To be sure, the iPhone, with more than 1 million sold since its launch and working only on the AT&T network, holds a just fraction of the U.S.'s 250 million wireless subscribers. But results of iPhone-specific creative from both marketers indicate that the device's graphics and range of applications open up possibilities for marketers and their target audiences.
Land Rover's iPhone-specific creative showed users the dealers closest to them.
Land Rover's iPhone-specific creative showed users the dealers closest to them.

Land Rover, seeking new ways to reach its affluent target for the launch of its Range Rover Sport, ran a campaign on the iPhone that allowed consumers to quickly connect with the iPhone-exclusive Google Maps page providing directions to the nearest dealer or make a phone call there.

"It's the ultimate consumer touch point," said Joao Machado, online associate media director, Mediaedge:cia, which represents Land Rover.

Big draw
The automaker's campaign has been running since late October and has registered 400,000 impressions on the iPhone, with 1,100 users punching in their ZIP codes. "That's excellent results -- that's significant," said Mariana Solano, advertising-communications manager for Land Rover North America.

Ms. Solano said Land Rover had started to use mobile marketing for branding. Her early experiences, however, led her to realize its direct-response potential. As a result, when the time came to launch the Range Rover, it aimed to reach its affluent, active lifestyle target consumer with a campaign for BlackBerries, Treos and iPhones. So far, the campaign has garnered 2.5 million impressions. But the click-through rate on the iPhone was 0.3%, higher than the average of 0.22% for the entire campaign, she said.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment tested a campaign for the release of the "Live Free or Die Hard" DVD, which consisted of photos, trailers and other video created specifically for the iPhone. It, too, tied into the iPhone's Google- Maps applications with directions to the nearest retailer.

Impressing youth
Duncan Plexico, executive director-digital marketing at 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, said his iPhone campaign had 1 million impressions in three weeks.

"It's a great way to target young consumers and let them experience 'Die Hard' the way they like," Mr. Plexico said. He said other 20th Century Fox movie titles are likely to adopt an iPhone strategy.

Although the iPhone is attractive to some marketers because of its tech-savvy and affluent users, not all brands would find it useful, Mr. Machado said, noting that an automobile with a broader reach may not fit the iPhone demographic.

He said ads on the iPhone have better targeting and more-useful map applications, and they also look better than those running on other phones or even on computers.
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