T-Mobile displays its strong sense of touch

In a market saturated with smartphone launches - like those of the Palm Pre and Apple's latest iPhone - T-Mobile needed to differentiate its second Android phone, MyTouch, set to launch in late summer.

Company: T-Mobile USA
Campaign: MyTouch 3G launch
PR team: In-house and Waggener Edstrom Worldwide
Launch: August 5
Budget: Undisclosed

Objective: In a market saturated with smartphone launches – like those of the Palm Pre and Apple's latest iPhone – T-Mobile needed to differentiate its second Android phone, MyTouch, set to launch in late summer.
 
Idea: Messaging for GI, T-Mobile's first Android phone that launched last year, focused on its open-source applications. This time, the team focused on the “MyTouch” name – not just to emphasize its touch screen, but also features that let users personalize the phone, said Peter Dobrow, external communications director at T-Mobile.
 
Tools: The team planned a “rolling thunder” approach, marked by several milestones leading up to its planned August 5 release. “We wanted to be in the June coverage and be part of the conversation,” Dobrow explained.
 
For example, T-Mobile chief tech officer talked to MocoNews.net about Android's future on June 5, a day before Palm's Pre release; it followed with more outreach later that month coinciding with the new iPhone release.
 
Next, the team launched a two-pronged event strategy to reach both consumers and developers. It held a July 8 event in New York aimed at consumer media that highlighted how the phone could heighten people's engagement with sports, news, music and other lifestyle niches.
  
“We had six stations, each with a persona that helped bring out the individualization aspect of the phone,” said David Henderson, WE account director for T-Mobile.
 
A second event in San Francisco on July 10 focused on T-Mobile's role as an innovator in its partnership with Google, and featured a panel discussion with developers.
 
Measurement: The team will monitor message pull-through, pre-sale figures, and whether the effort captured a 30-something and older demographic effectively. Also, it hopes to reach 1 billion impressions.

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