***NEWS FLASH*** LG Canada jumps into the touchphone market

The company hopes to 'take a bite out of the apple' by launching an advance campaign for three new touchphones.

In an attempt to alleviate consumers’ iPhone envy, LG Canada announced the launch of three new touchphones in Toronto today. The company’s carrier partners are touting exclusive deals for the new cell lineup: Telus is carrying the LG Venus, which will be first to market in Canada; then Rogers will launch the LG VU and Bell will launch the LG Vantage. All three phones will come to market from mid-April to early May.

LG VP marketing Andrew Barrett told MiC that the phones will be marketed as a collection, and prior to the product launch. ‘Traditionally, you have a dedicated campaign for each phone brand,’ he said. ‘We’re doing something that’s never been done by LG globally: launching three touchphones at the same time in one marketing campaign built entirely for Canada.’

The strategy is intended to capitalize on pent-up touchphone demand, and trigger frenzy. ‘Traditionally, you do the announcement the day before,’ says Barrett. ‘In this case we’re doing it several weeks in advance. Canadians have been forbidden from really experiencing touchphones in Canada until now. We wanted to give Canadians a chance to get excited about the phones before they come to stores.’

The campaign kicked off with a PR launch at the Sultan’s Tent in downtown Toronto today, where guests were given hands-on massages to bring home the ‘touch’ theme.

‘Until they took a bite out of the apple from the tree, Adam and Eve never really knew the true pleasures of touch,’ Barrett told the crowd. ‘Today, LG is asking everyone to take a bite out of the apple and experience the pleasures of touch right now.’

LG also released the results of an Ipsos Reid survey it commissioned, which asked Canadians what they would most like to touch among items like an Egyptian pyramid, the Stanley Cup, the Hope Diamond, freshly poured cement and a nude sculpture.

The advertising plays on this touch lust theme. ‘Since childhood, we’ve all seen objects of desire that we reach for and are told not to touch,’ Barrett told MiC. In the TV commercial, a boy gets his hand slapped away from a flower, a girl’s knee and a vintage sportscar before he is finally allowed to touch an LG touchphone.

The made-in-Canada campaign centres on new 15- and 30-second TV spots in English and French airing during programs such as American Idol, The Late Show with David Letterman and Pussycat Dolls Present Girlicious, on conventional as well as specialty channels. Barrett says the target is 25-to-35-year-old male and female urban dwellers ‘who appreciate style and technology.’ The spots debut on Monday and run for five weeks.

Other campaign elements include restaurant and bar advertising in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver with taglines such as ‘Unbutton your phone’ and ‘Love at first touch.’ Online at lg.ca, consumers can play with virtual versions of the phones and pre-register to receive notification the day before they go on sale.

‘Our hope is that the day they come into stores, those lucky people can get in right away and get them,’ said Barrett, adding that there will not be any controlled distribution to feed demand.

Creative was done by LG Canada’s AOR, Y&R Toronto, and media was bought by Excelerator Media, a division of media AOR Mindshare. The website was done by Publicis Modem. PR was by High Road Communications. All are Toronto-based.