Riot Keeps Up With “Jones”

Signs Wireless Content Deal With “Jones” Author
Getting U.S. mobile device users to accept an advertisement on their cell phone or PDA is no easy proposition. However, what if you were 31 years old, single, 15 pounds overweight and lighting up your tenth cigarette of the day when Bridget Jones sends you a message on your cell phone? You might just welcome a witty snippet on her most current dating dilemma.

The folks at Riot Entertainment, a wireless business, are hoping that’s the case. The Finland-based company just signed a content development partnership with Helen Fielding, author of the popular Bridget Jones books. Fielding will work closely with Riot-E in all levels of content development. This is the first time an author has granted rights to adapt a character to the mobile medium.

The deal is part of Riot-E’s overall strategy to get U.S. mobile owners interested in seeing their cell phones as viable devices for the delivery of entertainment content, said Griffith David, vp, marketing at Riot-E. Furthermore, it opens the door for advertisers to get at a very targeted audience, he added.

For example, David said, through a co-sponsorship, Max Factor could help users’ pay the cost of delivering the text-based messages to their cell phones. In return, Max Factor would extend its brand to the highly targeted Bridget fan demographic. An additional joint promotion could offer a coupon for Max Factor products. Max Factor also can pull together a database of women in its ideal market.

“We don’t want to burn bridges with our users,” David noted. “Advertising must be a clear opt-in process. The user has to perceive clear value.” Four different Bridget Jones delivery services, including “Ask Bridget” daily diary entries, polls and quizzes, will roll out in Europe on May 13, coinciding with the release of the Bridget Jones movie. David believes the services will be available in United States later this year.