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BrandBuzz Portrays 'Phone as Fashion'

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NEW YORK If you display a phone number, they will call.

That's what BrandBuzz found with its new out-of-home campaign for LG Electronics' mobile phones.

The New York-based division of Young & Rubicam last week took over the 59th Street and Lexington Avenue subway station, hoping to forge a connection with fashionistas riding the subway to nearby Bloomindale's.

The aim was to target 18-24 year olds with a message portraying the "phone as fashion," said Graham Turner, executive creative director of BrandBuzz.

Posters, which are also running on buses and cabs, included copy like "I need a little black bag to go with my new phone," and "Those shoes go great with that phone."

In addition, BrandBuzz put up posters resembling personal ads with statements such as, "I saw you waiting on this platform at 6:47 on Wednesday. You: wearing a jean jacket, totally totally cool yellow sneakers, new LG slider phone and a goatee (hot)." The posters included a number to call.

The idea was that "people wondering 'Is that real or not?' would find it is a real number and have an opportunity to leave messages," Turner said.

And people did. Callers in the "double-digit thousands" dialed in, according to Turner. Several of those who left messages will be selected to receive free LG phones.

"We wanted to keep the viral nature of that burning," said Turner about the giveaway.

Other BrandBuzz staffers on the campaign include art director Kalyani James Arul and copywriter Heidi Warner.

Korean LG Electronics, which has U.S. headquarters in San Diego, spent about $15 million advertising its telephones in 2003 and about $5 million between January and September 2004, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.