ties texting to connecting

Samsung and Koodo are trying to engage people on the street with a romantic little play on text messaging and missed connections.

Samsung and Koodo are tapping into Torontonians’ romance with the ‘missed connections’ phenomenon – when people post messages to online classifieds hoping to connect with someone they saw on the street, on the subway, or other public places – using a mobile UGC concept developed by Toronto-based brand infiltration agency Espresso.

The two mobile marketers have launched the Mobile Moments campaign, which aims to get people re-directing their missed connection messages to a microsite: Street teams armed with speech bubble cards are blanketing the city to urge mobile users to text their stories to the site via the 56366 shortcode. Missed connection notices, in the form of street-level postering, are inviting passersby to engage with the site.

Samsung marketing manager Jo Allan says the interactive mobile strategy is ‘a unique way to connect to an important market segment and increase brand awareness.’ Koodo Mobile VP marketing communications Lise Doucet says reactions to the campaign have been ‘fantastic. It’s getting attention because it’s using relevant social, mobile, and interactive technology and employing street level tactics to directly connect with our audience in a very real way.’

Naturally, the site itself is rigged with all the social media buttons required for viral sharability: Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Twitter, Technorati and A prominently featured box tells users that a Facebook app, once added to a profile on the social network, will have the latest moments delivered to them as they’re posted. There’s also an invite, exclusive to users, to attend the ‘Make a Connection’ event in Toronto at the end of the month, when the campaign wraps up. The campaign also includes a Google Map application that lets a user post the place where he or she saw the missed connection.

Espresso COO Jacquelyn Corbett Cyr says that the idea of using the missed connection phenom to reach Samsung and Koodo’s target audience was a natural fit. ‘We saw an opportunity to design a program that not only allowed people to actively participate, but to enjoy connecting through replying, sharing with friends, or even just watching the whole thing unfold as a spectator. We’re also hoping to create increasingly powerful associations between the concept of connection and two really strong mobile brands.’

Promo shots from the campaign have been posted on Flickr.