A million in Saudi Arabia sign up for MMS on phones

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[London] The Arab world's biggest cellphone operator signed up more than 1 million customers in two weeks for the first multimedia-messaging service in Saudi Arabia, where only text messaging was available until now. Aljiwal, which has 10 million customers across the Middle East, teamed up with Saudi Telecom and Nokia to pioneer cell phone multimedia services in Saudi Arabia.

The launch is backed by ads from Leo Burnett Riyadh featuring twin brothers-one a quiet, intellectual type and the other a loudmouth-in a series of mistaken-identity stories. In one TV spot, the loudmouth pesters a famous Saudi soccer player in a restaurant until he allows him to take a video of the two of them together using his cellphone. Later, when the quiet twin approaches the soccer star, merely to shake his hand respectfully, he is mistaken for his obnoxious brother and thrown out of the restaurant. The campaign also uses radio, online, print, outdoor, leaflets, ring tones and point of sale.

Jad Hindy, account director at Leo Burnett Riyadh, said, "No doubt the fact that such a high percentage of Saudis are under 24, are technologically adept and live in a conservative society with restricted movement will be a contributing factor to its uptake."

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