Ericsson Puts Advertising on Tour

Consumer, Retail Programs Leverage Sponsorship of Celine Dion
CHICAGO–Ericsson Mobile Phones is hitching its brand to Celine Dion’s stardom with a multitier marketing campaign tied to the Canadian singer’s concert tour.
“Celine Dion On Tour Presented by Ericsson” begins Aug. 21 in Boston. There, as in all U.S. (but not Canadian) cities visited by the 22-stop tour, Ericsson will air a heavy schedule of pre-concert TV and radio advertising.
A 30-second TV spot from Creswell, Munsell, Fultz & Zirbel in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, plays off a spot the agency broke for Ericsson last October. While the earlier spot had football fans using their lighted-dial cellular phones to illuminate a stadium after a power blackout, the new spot sees concertgoers lifting their Ericsson phones, as is generally done with cigarette lighters, to urge Dion to return for an encore.
In addition to building on the success of the football spot, Ericsson wanted to alter, but not wholly replace, its advertising theme, “That’s the power of voice,” said Karen Morris, manager of brand development for the Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based company. Tour-related advertising is themed, “Celine Dion has the power to be heard. With Ericsson Mobile Phones, so do you.”
TV and radio spots will carry the names of local Ericsson retailers in each city along the tour. In addition to extensive on-site advertising at all concert venues, the program includes an in-store promotion offering an exclusive video, Celine Dion: In Her Own Words, free with any Ericsson phone purchase. Entry forms for a national “Soirƒe with Celine” sweepstakes will also be placed in stores. The top prize in that contest is a trip to attend the taping of a Celine Dion holiday TV special this fall.
Entertainment Marketing, Chicago, is handling promotional elements of the estimated $10 million campaign.
The Dion tour campaign will run through October, after which Ericsson will launch a national print campaign backing four new product launches, Morris said.
Ericsson boosted ad spending to nearly $50 million in 1997, up from about $19 million in 1996, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
–with Tobi Elki