Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Philips picks up the phone

+Philips Electronics is using its "sense and simplicity" campaign to clear away marketing that bothers consumers and provide product tips via cellphone.
Philips Simplicity Concierge, lets people send text messages to seek information about popular destinations in major cities — restaurants in Boston, for instance, or spas in London — and get a Yellow Pages-style listing of five options, including phone numbers for making reservations.

The recommendations made by the service, which will be available on the Internet and by cellphone through the end of the year, are being drawn from the content of Condé Nast Web sites. Under the arrangement, Philips is paying $5 million to the Condé Nast Media Group, a unit of Condé Nast Publications that handles marketing and sales for the company's magazines and Web sites.

When you're traveling and pressed for time, and haven't had an opportunity to look for resources, you want a trusted source to give you a recommendation," said Eric Plaskonos, director of brand communication at Philips.

Philips, a part of Royal Philips Electronics, makes phones as well as many other consumer products. But the "sense and simplicity" campaign is a conceptual one: the focus is not on pitching the company's consumer products directly, but on promoting the idea of clutter reduction for people's lives.

"People are pretty passionate when you simplify things for them, and that's rich territory for getting people to spend more time with the brand," said Martha Cleary, vice president and group account director for Philips's media agency, Carat USA, part of the Aegis Group.

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