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Harper Children's Goes Mobile with Meg Cabot Marketing
August 19, 2005
By Rachel Deahl

Joining the ranks of innovative publishers looking to tap young readers through mobile technology, HarperCollins Children’s division is launching an initiative to advertise—via cell phone—one of their most popular authors. The Meg Cabot Mobile Club will promote titles by the author of bestselling series like The Princess Diaries and All American Girl through the delivery of varied content to participating members’ cell phones. The effort marks the first significant entry Harper Children’s has made into mobile-phone marketing.

Harper isn’t the only publisher to recognize just how powerful a marketing tool cell phones can be, either. In February, Random House partnered with VOCEL, another mobile technology company, to deliver content from the house’s Living Language and Prima Games imprints to consumers’ mobile phones. Intending students to access test-prep materials and videogame tips, Random House also targeted much of its initial investment in this area of marketing to the teen demographic as well. Story continues below &darr

Teaming up with Flytxt, a New York–based mobile-marketing services provider, HC Children’s will send “exclusive” messages from Cabot to club members, along with news, polls, trivia and other special offers. The campaign, which will be advertised on a number of teen-friendly websites, including ellegirl.com and wb.com (the online home of Warner Brothers television), will run through December.

“We’re trying to be on the forefront of marketing to children and getting them where they are,” says Amy Burton of HC Children’s publicity department. And in a statement from the company, Diane Naughton, HC Children’s vice president of marketing said the campaign “helps us extend our Meg Cabot brand by creating an exciting, new interactive relationship with these cell phone customers.”

Speaking to just how prevalent this technology is among teen girls, Jim McKenzie, Harper Children’s online marketing director, said that, according to NOP World Technology, those in this group are some of the “most intense users of the Internet and cell-phone text messaging.” McKenzie went on to say that this technology will “enable HarperCollins to enter into a one-to-one marketing relationship with teens and tweens.”

The Meg Cabot Mobile Club will be open to fans 13 and over and will be available on all of the country’s major wireless carriers.




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