Remember all those Friday morning classes during your freshmen year? You’d walk through discarded party flyers filled with colorful pictures and half naked bodies promoting bars, clubs and social events. Well, times have changed.
Text messaging and social media have become the new trend in advertising all over America. Many club owners and promoters throughout Long Beach have caught on to this craze. They text everyone and anyone in hopes that others pass on the message about certain events or drink specials.
One Long Beach-area promoter said, “I use texting because I can let a mass amount of people know about an event. I just send a message to all my friends with details, and let them know I have tickets available.”
Success stories of mobile marketing include Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, in which he utilized social networking and text messaging to spread the word. More recently, AT&T sent customers text messages endorsing “American Idol.”
Texting has become so popular that many have unlimited text included with their service plans. Clubs employ texting services to reach a larger audience. All a venue has to do is open an account with a texting service and get club goers to subscribe. Visitors simply text a certain keyword to a number (send CLUBS to 1234) and will receive up-to-date information on local activities at their venue of choice sent directly to their cellphones.
Not only does a texting service save the environment, it’s a cheap alternative for club owners. They are able to determine when and what messages go out to subscribers in order to advocate mass marketing. This option allows subscribers to forward their messages to friends.
Considering this generation is so tech savvy, social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace have also gotten a hold of the trend. Most clubs, venues and bars have a Facebook group or a MySpace page, which allows announcements to be sent to all group members or friends. In addition to venues, promotion companies are also able to create groups, which allows them to reach a large audience by becoming friends with everyone in a certain network.
Although many promotion companies attempt to have positive relations with their audiences, students from Cal State Long Beach have formed an anti-promoter group on Facebook entitled “All Against RJ Productions and Every Other Promoter” hoping to stop the texting and e-mailing madness.
Group affiliate Andrew Veis said he was a member because “At no point in time am I going to want to take a party bus to an exclusive club in Los Angeles and buy expensive drinks. Those messages are like spam in my e-mail.”
Although the option of mobile marketing and social networking saves trees, money and costs less to clean up on Friday mornings; many feel there is more spam and trash on their cell phones and in their inboxes to make up for the constant stream of messages.
Kara Bautch is a senior journalism major and a contributing writer for the Daily Forty-Niner.