The recent alarm over “red death” cellphone calls caused panic to levels that got Chief Executives of major cell phone companies talking and reached rather high levels of government. Most of the stories around this topic was negative with Kenya’s overactive rumour mill being blamed and the effectiveness of the move by Kenyan authorities to register all SIM cards being tested. With the benefit of plenty of hindsight, I think the opportunity hiding in the midst of this challenge was one brands could benefit from. The “read death” calls phenomenon put beyond doubt that we do have a powerful alternative to mainstream media. For many, the story did not break through mainstream media but through social sites, text messages, phone calls, emails and world of mouth. The mainstream media only came in to authenticate what was already rampant in the alternative media or what can also be called “new media” space.
I do not have the answer but here is a thought. What if instead of promising death, the message was about a brand?
Just a thought.