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Purina targets pet lovers with mobile alerts via Limbo

With the mobile market gaining more traction as an effective marketing channel, Nestle Purina PetCare Company decided to try free text message alerts for pet lovers with the help of Limbo Inc., a mobile entertainment company.

Through Limbo's advertising-supported text message alert service called Limbo Lowdown (, Purina quickly and easily tapped into significant SMS inventory, with more than 1 million opted-in mobile members averaging 28 years of age for both males and females. Twenty-five percent of the audience is 35 years of age and 56 percent are female and 44 percent are male.

"Nestle Purina was intrigued by the opportunity to immediately tap into the world's largest mobile entertainment community to offer relevant content and engage both current and new consumers in a deeper, more personal relationship via their mobile phones," said Michael Moore, director of interactive marketing at Purina, St. Louis, MO.

"This occurs both within the Limbo environment and through Nestle Purina's Web site and other communications vehicles through which the company can offer current customers a new, free, value-added service that extends their relationship, giving them daily interaction with the brand," he said.

Purina is known for pet food brands such as Friskies and FancyFeast for cats and Kibbles and Chunks and Mighty Dog for dogs.

Limbo's service helped Purina ( integrate advertising messages alongside relevant content. Through the use of SMS, Purina reinforced its campaign messages to leverage the ability to click through to mobile sites, click-to-call and coupon opportunities.

As with any campaign, there will be quantifiable results: How many users subscribed and what is the retention rate?

Additionally, Limbo conducts post-campaign research among the users to discover useful information for its advertisers to evolve the current efforts or to make future programs more effective.

Results aren't yet in since the campaign just launched. The campaign, however, will change over time as Purina and Limbo promote its availability to their respective audiences.

In addition to mobile alerts, Purina is also offering a suite of products on Apple Inc.'s iTunes online store, including both audio and video downloads of its popular "Ask the Vet" call-in radio show, coupled with video podcasts of its Incredible Dog Challenge television programming.

The pet food company also sponsored on the Go2 mobile network.

"The objective is to test the brand-building effectiveness, including brand affinity and purchase intent, of a mobile advertising solution that doesn't feel like advertising; it feels like entertainment," Mr. Moore said.

"The Limbo Lowdown alerts provide a compelling mobile advertising channel to actively engage targeted demographics with timely, relevant SMS content each and every day, while respecting the very personal medium of the mobile phone," he said. "It extends the brand's relationship with the consumer beyond the brick-and-mortar borders of the stores where the products are purchased."

Mr. Moore also claimed that Limbo's mobile advertising solutions are uniquely effective because they don't feel like advertising.

Meanwhile, Limbo is generating more than 2 million SMS alerts per month in addition to the 6.5 million messages generated by its original SMS-based games.

Purina benefits from Limbo's growing audience, as the pet food supplier can reach new consumers.

Limbo ( is a mobile entertainment community. It leverages its advertising platform, including SMS, mobile Web, mobile video, email and the Internet.

The company said it integrates these channels with brands throughout games, content and community to deliver more than 50 branded interactions per member and increases in purchase intent.

This latest initiative is in line with Purina's goals to promote responsible pet care, community involvement and the positive bond between people and their pets.

"Purina is extending its efforts in advertainment and mobile content through Limbo," Mr. Moore said. "With Limbo, Purina is offering consumers a free content service to augment the brand and promote products."