I’m Not A Fan, But I Play One On TV

Even though there is very little benefit to be gained by mobile marketers from this newS item, I simply couldn’t stop myself from commenting on it.

News out of Warsaw today addressed the waves made in the US when Apple Inc introduced its new 3G iPhone, including some fans paying double or triple the price to be among the first to obtain the hottest device in mobile electronics. In Poland, however, people are “getting paid to line up” and create the impression of demand for the iPhone!

As part of a marketing campaign ahead of the iPhone’s launch this week in Poland, the country’s largest mobile operator, Orange, is paying dozens of actors to stand in queues. “We have these fake queues at front of 20 stores around the country to drum up interest in the iPhone,” a spokesman said.

Even though Apple sold more than one million new iPhones in the United States since last month, buyers in Poland are reluctant to pay “hefty monthly charges.” What’s more, an aggressive mobile marketing campaign is being used to foster “legitimate interest” in the iPhone for Polish mobile users.

As I read the story I couldn’t help but wonder if there were any similar examples in the states of “inflated popularity” of mobile marketing in the early stages of its existence. Of course, at the time we would have probably never noticed. And, at the end of the day, I suppose all that matters is that the practice finally caught on. But it does make you wonder.