Tuesday 16 October 2012

Breaking News…Looper Is Missing…!

One of the checklist items of movie promotions is SMS/online contests, which win you movie merchandize or meet ’n’ greet with the cast or movie tickets or … <placeholder for anything else that one can imagine J>. So the same elements were at play prior to the release of Holly flick Looper on Indian screens on October 12, 2012.
I responded to one of the two options against the question, “Who plays OLD JOE in Looper?” flashed on television channel ABP News, on Thursday October 11, 2012, 11:17 PM. I knew it was Bruce Willis and immediately typed YES A (YES B, if option B was the right answer) and sent it to the short code 5782728. Now came the Looper moment which gave me a jolt, yes it was, the response text from 5782728 read from the past…when Looper was not born!
“Thank you for becoming Star Ananda Privileged Fan! We will keep you informed about important news, breaking news alerts on your mobile. Keep watching Star Ananda.”
Not a single mention about the contest! I wanted to shout out loud that;
·         I DID NOT TEXT to become a Star Ananda Privileged Fan!
·         I don’t want to be kept informed about important news, breaking news alerts ON MY MOBILE
·         Keep watching Star Ananda WHY? FOR WHAT?
It’s true that I engaged with the channel during random surf, but the context of the engagement was a movie contest and nothing else. What I expected was a response aligned to the context of the contest, “Thank you for your participation in the contest. Winners will be announced shortly. Logon to … for terms and conditions…”
A typical condition laid out in the agreement between the Telco and the short code provider for provisioning the short code into Telco’s network is, the short code provider will not push any kind of promotional messages either as add on or stand alone, to a corresponding pull SMS. To de-jargonize, in the present context, what I sent to 5782728 was a pull and the response I received was a push SMS.
The response text from ABP News was nothing but a promotional SMS, albeit a deficient one! It also fell short of aligning the response text to the purpose for which the SMS was sent.


  1. Reminds me of the boys and girls in malls eager to know your name and mobile no, the carrot they show 'free holiday'

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