Sending Out an SOS: LiveEarth's Ambitious SMS Campaign

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Jul 07, 2007

LiveEarth, the global music event taking place today, is launching one of the most ambitious mobile campaigns in its effort to organize people worldwide on climate change.

Live Earth is broadcast to more than two billion people with concerts in New York, London, Sydney, Tokyo, Shanghai, Rio de Janeiro, Johannesburg, and Hamburg.

Concert goers and those watching online and on television in four countries will be able to 'answer the call' via sms by texting in a key word in one of six issue areas, pledging to change their behavior to save the earth from climate destruction. Keywords such as home, job, shop, ride, share, and lead can be texted in to short code 82004 in the Unites States and UK, to 70707 in Germany, and 199 66 777 in Australia.

According to the press release: "In return [users] will receive a message back confirming their commitment, and giving them a solution to apply to their daily lives, such as replacing traditional light bulbs with more energy efficient compact fluorescents, or leaving the car at home and biking to work. A second message will invite people to publicly join in the movement by responding with their first name, last initial and city which will then be posted on screens at the various concert venues through a text2screen feature. TV broadcasts and online event streams on will also incorporate text pledges, and the names of people who participate will be listed on after the concerts end."

According to Catherine Geanuracos, an expert in interactive media campaigns working for LiveEarth, participating NGO partners of LiveEarth will be able to ask texters to opt in to ongoing communications and actions, to jumpstart the SMS organizing opportunities for these partners. In the United States, for example, the Alliance for Climate Protection (Al Gore's organization) will be able to launch its sms organizing with these opt-in users after the event.

Set up to operate in four countries with concomitant short codes, this is by far the most extensive and possibly complicated organized sms campaign we have seen. It is better integrated with the online and broadcast marketing on LiveEarth than many of the advocacy campaigns we have observed to date. There are clear calls to action on, and a well-done "Answer the Call; via sms" page. While the many keywords may be confusing in a concert setting (and some of the behavior changes rather tame), the keyword "LEAD" will ask participants to sign a more comprehensive and forceful pledge by texting in their name and city to be displayed on TV and concert screens.

The graphic display of those signing the pledge is a good example of a global campaign using text-to-screen functionality, a very useful tool to display political support at mass gatherings and for television coverage. Such public displays have a continuously reinforcing effect by urging on and tempting those viewing to text in their names, in turn, to see it displayed on the screens.

Verisign is the global wireless messaging partner for Live Earth, absorbing half of the costs for the sms portion of the campaign. Standard message rates apply for users in the US signing the pledge.

With concerts in Australia just starting, we will be watching closely for results of the sms campaign to analyze the numbers and methods in the participaing countries.

Meanwhile, text 'LEAD' to 82004 to sign the pledge.


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><p><br> <b><i><blockquote>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options