University of Chester staff and students were given a fascinating insight into the work of one of the UK’s newest and most innovative mobile phone networks, during an open lecture at the University of Chester’s Warrington campus.
Entitled Mobile Marketing – Fad or Future?, Marko Ahtisaari, Head of Brand and Design at Blyk, discussed the business, marketing and public relations elements of Blyk Industries’ operations in the UK and beyond.
Blyk is the first completely advertising-funded Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) in the UK market, with users receiving free SMS messages and voice minutes in return for watching adverts. Its services are limited to their target market – 16 to 24-year-olds – and subscribers are recruited through viral invitation.
Blyk will go Pan-European in 2009, with the potential to reach 40 million young customers.
This year, Blyk has set a brief for Design and Art Direction (D&AD), an educational charity representing the global creative, design and advertising communities, to create an integrated campaign demonstrating the marketing power of the mobile phone, especially when marketing to the 16-24 year old audience.
Through the University’s Advertising programme’s connections with D&AD, Lecturer Kate Sillitoe made contact with Marvin Aristotle from Shift6.net, a branch of Blyk UK, who was keen to offer student support and, through working directly with their target market, help Blyk develop the future of mobile marketing. Blyk are also planning to hold several workshops with the students throughout the year.
Kate Sillitoe, Lecturer in Visual Communication and Digital Design, said: “Working with Blyk presents our students with a very exciting opportunity as it puts them in the enviable position of potentially being able to influence the future of marketing through the currently under-developed medium of the mobile phone.”
Born in Helsinki, Finland, Marko Ahtisaari is Blyk’s Head of Branding and Design. He previously worked as Director of Design Strategy at Nokia, and his father, Martti, is a former UN Diplomat, President of Finland, and this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner.