CAMPAIGN: Phone security helps to fight off mugger

A mobile phone is stolen in the UK every 12 seconds. Remote XT is an anti-theft service that not only backs up the data on a customer’s phone to a secure server, but also immobilises the handset and wipes all the data if a phone is stolen. It hired Primal PR for its UK launch.

Campaign: The ‘Screaming’ Phone
Client: Remote XT
PR team: Primal PR
Timescale: August – October 2006
Budget: Undisclosed

To launch the Remote XT brand to mobile phone users worldwide. To alert business and trade media to the wider benefits of the service and to try to ‘recruit’ at least six leading mobile dealers as sales partners.

Strategy and plan
Strategy focused on Remote XT’s ‘Scream’ feature, which makes mobiles emit an ear-piercing scream when stolen, even if the SIM card is removed.

A harrowing scream was chosen from a shortlist of alarms and made available as a soundbite to media.

The company met with the Metropolitan Police and the Mobile Industry Crime Action Forum (MICAF) before the launch to demonstrate the technology. Spokespeople included Steve Bending, head of the National Mobile Phone Crime Unit, MICAF chairman Jack Wraith, recent victims of mobile phone muggings and industry analysts.

As well as the alarm, the system offers lock, wipe and restore of all the data on mobile phones, plus anti-virus software. The next task was to position it as ‘more than a screaming phone’ to trade media.

Key telecomm­unications and business media were pre-briefed on a one-to-one basis in the month preceding the launch.

A website was updated daily with news and views from the mobile world and case studies highlighting the benefits of the service.

A reception was held at One Aldwych, with briefings for early adopters. A guerrilla marketing campaign was backed up by customer, analyst and media meetings at industry exhibition the Smartphone Show in November 2006.

Measurement and evaluation
In the UK the screaming phone story was covered by every national daily newspaper and broadcast media including ITN, BBC TV news and Channel 4 news. Evaluation from Media Measurement showed that in a 24 hour period the story ran on 74 radio stations, 47 major newspapers, 52 TV stations and 683 websites world-wide.

International coverage included Fox News, the Middle East Times, India Now and the Sydney Morning Herald.

The website attracted 94,000 hits on launch day, with 502,500 visits in the first month.

Remote XT managed to achieve global impact and is now rolling out in nations such as Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Southern Africa, the Middle East and North America. In the UK, eight leading resellers have signed up as sales partners.

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