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Ken Magill

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People on Toilets, In Bed and In Church: The New Mobile Marketing Frontier? Nah

By Ken Magill


One day in the nineties my phone rang. It was my business partner: “Hey, man. What’s up?” I said.

“I’m taking a crap. Do you mind talking to me while I’m taking a crap?” he said.

“Nah, I’m cool. What’s going on?” I said, and he began talking in between grunts about the business subject that was on his mind that afternoon.

Pretty soon, I broke in and said: “You know what? I really can’t handle this. It’s the visual. Call me when you’re done.”

I had never knowingly carried on a phone conversation with someone taking a crap before.

Today, I don’t think he would even tell me.

Seventy five percent of smart phone owners said they would be comfortable using their phones in a public restroom, according to a just released survey by LG Electronics.

Seventy seven percent said they would use their phones while in bed with another person, according to LG.

And 48 percent said they would use their phones in church, according to LG.

The world has evolved toward my old business partner and away from me. I still view the toilet as the one seat in the house where I can get some peace.

Whereas once when we heard a lone voice coming from a bathroom stall we would think someone needed therapy, now it’s no big deal.

What does any of this have to do with marketing?

As location-based marketing gains in popularity, we should keep in mind that sure, we know where they are geographically, but we don’t know what they’re doing. If we did, think of the subject lines we could create:

To people in church: “Go ahead. Click. God won’t mind.”

To people in bed: “Opening this may be the most gratifying thing you’ll do today.”

To people on the toilet: “Opening this may be the second most gratifying thing you do today.”

Again, to people on the toilet: “Hot deals for when you’re in a pinch.”

Once more, to people on the toilet: “Put the phone down, Anthony.”

Alas, we don’t have the capability to create such on-the-mark subject lines. So “Free Shipping” it will have to be.


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