Tourists marketing from Times Square
December 11th, 2006

Marketers are very merry this season as tourists with mobile phone cameras are spreading their messages across the virtual world. The New York Times reports today:

. . . recently [advertisers] have discovered that down on the ground, new technology has given low cost, face-to-face marketing campaigns something of a cutting edge as consumers spread their messages on the Internet.

Take the recent display of public toilets set up by Charmin bathroom tissue: Used by thousands in Times Square and viewed by 7,400 Web users on one site alone. Or Nascar’s recent display of racecars; videos of the event have been viewed on YouTube more than 1,800 times. More than 60 people wrote about the event on their blogs and 60 more spread the word — and pictures — on the Flickr Web site.

‘The great thing about the digital world is you can capture these events,’ said Christian McMahan, brand director for Smirnoff Ice, owned by Diageo. ‘People can see them whether they were there that day or 3,000 miles away.’

As a result of the growing popularity of consumer-generated pictures, videos and e-mail messages on Internet sites like YouTube and Myspace, advertisers are getting consumers to essentially do their jobs for them.

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