Sony Ericsson takes to the streets to push new phone

LOS ANGELES: Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications (SEMC) has launched a campaign for its new cell phone/digital camera that is gaining widespread press for its covert tactics.

LOS ANGELES: Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications (SEMC) has launched a campaign for its new cell phone/digital camera that is gaining widespread press for its covert tactics.

Posing as tourists, 120 actors hit the streets last week in seven cities asking passers-by to take their picture using the cutting-edge camera.

The "tourists remain completely undercover, only disclosing the details about the camera or their paid status if people ask them directly.

The campaign will run for 60 days in New York, LA, Atlanta, Miami, Seattle, Chicago, and Dallas, and was created by Sathon Communications.

The Wall Street Journal wrote about the campaign last week, sparking a slew of follow-up stories from CNN to the LA Times. The amount of coverage surprised even SEMC. "Guerilla marketing and grassroots marketing is a newer trend, but it's not something we consider revolutionary, said strategic marketing head Nicky Csellak-Claeys.

While the campaign's covert aspect is making headlines, SEMC is also using more mainstream tactics. For the next month, caddies in the seven cities will offer golfers free photos, as well as previews of upcoming holes, on the digital device.

It is also running a free shuttle service from three Manhattan locations to LaGuardia Airport in a fully branded van equipped with SEMC gear for passengers to try. These efforts are aimed at "professional pioneers" interested in emerging technology.

To reach youth markets, the drive is taking over nightclubs and installing giant screens. SEMC reps will party at the club, and use the phones to send messages and images to the big screens.

SEMC is also sponsoring branded kiosks at concerts, malls, and baseball games.

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