Wow, this is both a lot of integrated marketing and mobile content sales for mainstream America.
Lots of integrated marketing – text to vote, text to buy ring tones, commercials pushing CV, etc. Didn't see the ring tones marketed on TV on the web site though. Then … using the opportunity to teach viewers how to use their handset.
And then … Ryan Seacrest teaching 40 million American viewers how to download a ringtone without utilizing the carrier's "deck."
(He has help from seven year old "Sammy" who is more likely to have a Migo than a SLVR, but that's beside the point. She'll have to watch Ace on TV.)
"If you are with Cingular Wireless, you can actually download ring tones of your favorite IDOLs." (Now, does Johnny Cash, Chris, or American Idol have rights to that content?)
"In a text message, send the letter 'A' to "8008." (ok, not so intuitive)
"You'll get a response." (uh, would that be a text message?)
"Click on the link."
"Select the tone you'd like and download your favorite IDOLs right there."
"It'll play right out of your phone."
(But, Ryan … what charges apply? what does it cost?)
Wish I had a Cingular handset so I could try it out. The ability to vote and buy ring tones associated with American Idol probably won't be a reason to switch carriers, but Cingular certainly has a captive audience each week.
Impressive also that Ryan could give those instructions "live."