Tuesday, September 8, 2009

LG Seeks 'Fame' With Teens

The phone maker is partnering with the remake of ''Fame'' to reach teen consumers.

LG is working hard to stay the teenage cellphone of choice. The South Korean electronics giant already sells nine of the 20 most popular cellphones among teens, according to Comscore. But rivals like Samsung, Sanyo and Pantech are making their own affordable, text-centric phones, threatening LG's dominance.

To bond with its teen audience, LG is partnering with MGM to promote a remake of the hit 1980s film Fame, which centers on a group of artsy New York high school students. Under the deal, LG will launch a special Fame-themed Web site, LGFameUs that will host a video contest and quizzes. LG phones will also be sprinkled throughout the film, which opens on Sept. 25.

LG says the tie-in is designed to show teens and tweens that LG respects their "view of the world." "Teens are becoming a major force in mobile communications … we need to figure out a way to connect to them," says Ehtisham Rabbani, LG's vice president of product strategy and marketing. According to the company, more than 70% of American teenagers 17 and under have a cellphone--up from 45% in 2004.

The cornerstone of LG's campaign is a personality quiz that will be unveiled on Sept. 8. The quiz, which is being billed as, "What LG Cellphone are you?" will pose questions like "You're gonna live forever! How important are the following?" Answers will include "My career," "Having the latest technology" and "A phone that expresses who I really am, inside and out." After analyzing responses, the quiz will match participants with one of 12 LG phones. Interested consumers will be forwarded to LG's U.S. homepage, where they can learn more about the handsets and connect to carriers' sites to purchase them.

Rabbani says the quiz acknowledges that teens are individuals who want phones that match their lifestyles. (It will also collect useful--though anonymous--information about teen cellphone preferences.) LG's Fame video contest, which asks people to do their own interpretation of the film's iconic theme song, Live Forever, is designed to appeal to teens in a different way--by giving them a place to show off their personalities. "We want to be like a friend to teens, not talk down to them," says Rabbani.

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