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Webtel.mobi and the TEL.mobi Group have set numerous global marketing records during their marketing events, and have been the subject of many media articles. A snapshot of some of these marketing events and records, and of the international media coverage, can be seen below:
Webtel.mobi on Reuters TV - A New Frontier in Viral Marketing
18 December 2009
Webtel.mobi Inter-continental Challenge
The global television broadcast of the Webtel.mobi Intercontinental Challenge by AP Corporate Services, on behalf of Webtel.mobi, was the most successful in the service's history.
The Webtel.mobi Intercontinental Challenge was the first attempted crossing by a man harnessed to a jet wing between the continents of Africa and Europe - a distance of 40km over some of the most dangerous air and sea currents in the world.
AP Corporate Services was appointed by Webtel.mobi to provide an integrated production and distribution solution for the project - not an easy thing when the event was held in two countries with exhaustive permission processes and logistical issues to work through.
The whole event was filmed in high-definition (HD), with AP Corporate Services working together with outside broadcast facilities providers Alfacam and Eurolinx, who handled the Cineflex camera, broadcast camera and wireless - and Wim Robberechts, who provided RF signals from their own Cineflex helicopter
AP provided the cameras and crewing in Morocco and Spain, and also produced video news releases of preparations the day prior, and then on the jump day itself – as well as providing a live uplink facility from Spain.
As per Webtel.mobi’s brief, the feed was then distributed worldwide via AP Television News' Global Video Wire as a free live broadcast, and also replayed as a free video news release (VNR) for newsrooms who missed the live feed.
"This was a first for us", said Bart Stobart, Manager of AP Corporate Services. "Being able to offer free and unrestricted live feed worldwide for such a dramatic event added an element of unpredictability and excitement to the mix. The broadcast newsrooms taking the live feed didn't know whether the Webtel.mobi Intercontinental Challenge would succeed, so, whatever the outcome, their audience would see it first".
"Webtel.mobi enlisted the help over fifty companies - each a world-leader in its field - to turn the Intercontinental Challenge into a reality", said Stuart Sterzel, Chief Executive Officer of Webtel.mobi. "When the time came to entrust an organisation with the live global broadcast and the VNR production and distribution, there was for us no question that the company to appoint was AP. Their professionalism, capabilities and experience in this specialist industry are world-renowned and unmatched".
According to usage monitoring conducted by AP after the event, the successful jump was broadcast live, or recorded and replayed later in the day by the major news channels, CNN International, BBC World and Sky News; on all the main US networks NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox and their affiliates; on all five main terrestrial UK television channels; and by hundreds of other news broadcasters in countries around the globe.
AP Corporate Services' post-event assessment is that the potential viewership of the Webtel.mobi Intercontinental Challenge could well have included up to half of the world's population on the day of broadcast.
Webtel.mobi's Intercontinental Challenge Establishes World Records in Broadcasting, TV Viewers, Marketing and Brand
Fri Dec 18, 20097:35am EST
NEW YORK, NEW YORK and LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, Dec 18
Specialized Mobile Provider Webtel.mobi's recent Intercontinental Challenge - the first attempted Intercontinental Crossing by jet-wing - both broke and established multiple world records in worldwide broadcasting, TV viewers, marketing and brand recognition in just one day.
With estimates of the worldwide viewership on live and recorded TV ranging from 2 Billion+ people to half the world's population, it is the most viewed one-off event in history, and one of the most viewed - if not the most viewed - event in history.
It also established global brand recognition for the company in just 24 hours - a marketing first that had previously been considered impossible to achieve.
An Associated Press release on the Challenge stated that "The global television broadcast of the Webtel.mobi Intercontinental Challenge by AP Corporate Services, on behalf of Webtel.mobi, was the most successful in the service's history."
It went on to state that "AP Corporate Services' post-event assessment is that the potential viewership of the Webtel.mobi Intercontinental Challenge could well have included up to half of the world's population on the day of broadcast".
Uniquely, Webtel.mobi conceptualized, planned and implemented the entire event itself, and also broadcast it free on television worldwide.
Webtel.mobi's core strategies for the Challenge - all world-first's and implemented simultaneously - were the following:-
- To attempt the world's first Intercontinental Crossing by jet-wing.
- To become a worldwide live television broadcaster for the day of the Challenge.
- To provide the worldwide television coverage of the Challenge to all television channels worldwide who wanted to rebroadcast it, free & unrestricted, and without any conditions.
- To integrate its branding into the event so that it became a natural part of the event, and did not overshadow it or become the sole driver - a strategy that Webtel.mobi refers to as Principled Marketing.
Webtel.mobi staged the attempt to connect the Continents in a new and innovative way to highlight how its mobile phone service connects the world in a new and innovative way.
The Challenge was structured to be an inspirational event that would appeal to people of all nationalities, cultures, ages and socio-economic backgrounds; which would at the same time promote Webtel.mobi's views that hard work and determination bring success, and that great things can be achieved by ordinary people who do the extraordinary.
To put the potential viewer figures of the Webtel.mobi Intercontinental Challenge into perspective, the following comparisons provide an illuminating picture:
- 100+ times more viewers than the 2009 final of the X Factor TV show in the UK (20 Million).
- 20+ times more viewers than the 2009 Super Bowl final in the USA (98 Million).
- 4+ times more viewers than English Premier League football matches (500 million).
- 3+ times more viewers than watched the space missions of Apollo 11 or 13 (600 Million)
- 3+ times more viewers than the 2006 Football World Cup Final (715 Million).
- More worldwide viewers than opening of the 2008 Beijing Olympics (up to 2 Billion)
The person who attempted the Challenge on behalf of Webtel.mobi - professional pilot Yves Rossy - was appointed due to Webtel.mobi's view that his personal philosophy towards his profession of Free Flight by jet-wing mirrored their corporate culture of hard work, determination and personal excellence.
The dramatic Webtel.mobi Challenge flight over the North Atlantic was covered by all of the world's global news stations, and hundreds of other television stations worldwide, as a massive thunderstorm destabilized his jet wing and hurled him into the Ocean, forcing a live search and rescue watched by a spellbound global audience.
Responding to enquiries about the record-breaking numbers, Webtel.mobi's CEO Stuart Sterzel issued the following statement:
"We are aware that it is the most successful one-off event in history, and that it achieved global brand recognition of Webtel.mobi through our Principled Marketing strategy. As to whether or not it is the most viewed event in world history, or whether the potential viewer figures were 2 Billion people or more, we cannot comment factually. What is more important to us is that while branding webtel.mobi globally, we at the same time provided an inspirational example to people, and thereby tried to positively influence their lives".
Webtel and Zooppa partner for add competition
Technology / 17 June 2009
Webtel.mobi, a company that offers ultra-low-cost mobile calling and texting services has partnered with social network Zooppa to offer large cash prizes to members of the public in an international advertising competition.
Webtel.mobi's competition with Zooppa is open to entrants from all countries. Entrants can submit entries recorded with any type of equipment - including mobile phones.
Zooppa chief executive officer Wil Merritt said: "It's great to team up with a company as forward-thinking as Webtel.mobi. This is the kind of project that really gets our creative community fired up."
Webtel.mobi's brief included the opening of the competition to all entrants, regardless of their medium of filming.
A spokesman for Webtel.mobi said: "Our company recognises that personal excellence and skill don't always have the backing of large budgets, so whether entrants submit content generated by mobile phone filming or professional edit suites - it'll be the skill and innovation of the creators that is judged above all else".
New York, NY, April 22, 2011
Top Marketers at THE INTERNATIONALIST 100 Discuss the Reinvention of Marketing Leadership amid Global Complexity
On April 13 at New York’s Trump SoHo Hotel, an elite group of marketing leaders gathered to share ideas that underscore how risk-taking and reinvention are among today’s best tools for successful brand strategies in these times of dramatic change. Many in the room and at the podium had recently been named to The Internationalist’s annual list of 100 Marketing Leaders from around the world. These accomplished executives are using their experience, insights and expanded responsibilities to develop new marketing solutions amid today’s global complexity and redefined business objectives.
Through discussion and sharing of best practices, participants in THE 100 demonstrated how they are:
- Reinventing ways in which their products and services interact with consumers’ lives.
- Presenting a consistent worldwide image that establishes overall consumer confidence while working to connect on an individual customer level.
- Discovering how brand value today is directly tied to being a champion for local economics or for larger, sustainable initiatives.
- Recognizing that a combination of art and science is now critical to solid marketing programs that brings results.
THE 100 was underwritten by the following companies: BBC World News, CoreBrand and Out There Media as Premium Sponsors; Bloomberg, Euronews and The Financial Times as Supporting Sponsors and Dentsu Network West, Publicitas North America, SCAN International, Sony Pictures Television, The Wall Street Journal, World Media and The Yomiuri Shimbun as Participating Sponsors.
Wil Merritt, CEO of Zooppa, the world's largest source of user-generated advertising, discussed a highbred strategy between traditional and social media, generating not only quality content, but consumer awareness, engagement and insights. Through numerous examples of brands around the world from Jones Soda to Webtel.mobi, Wil Merrit demonstrated how this can capture the essence of a brand in ways that resonate with a new generation of consumers.
Many will remember Wil Merritt from his more traditional media life. He spent 18 years with Time-Warner, Inc., including his role as President for Europe/Middle East/Africa for the Time and Fortune Publishing Division. From there, he served 4 years as a Senior Vice President for the Corbis Corporation, Bill Gates' wholly owned private digital media company.
Webtel.mobi Video Competition Heralds Seismic Shift in Advertizing Industry
CPN Admin, Feb 15, 2012
Specialized Mobile Provider’s video ad competition brings in millions of dollars worth of video ads at a fraction of the cost of conventional production. Liberates ‘Citizen marketers’ and forces a fundamental rethink of the way traditional advertizing agencies do business.
London and Seattle - Specialized Mobile Provider Webtel.mobi’s recent Internet-based video ad competition brought in a massive 174 entries – more than half of which are good enough to go straight to air in their upcoming international online marketing campaign.
Webtel.mobi called for video ads to be submitted describing their mobile phone service, providing entrants with a brief, and access to the company’s information site at Webtel.mobi/pc and their mobile phone site at Webtel.mobi. The ads they received would have cost several million dollars to produce in the normal way – all for an outlay of just on $76 000, in prize money – or less than it would cost to produce one ad in the traditional manner.
In bypassing the traditional ad industry production route, Webtel.mobi opened up its marketing campaign to talented, creative people outside the traditional ad agency and video production structures. A company spokesman said the move to “democratize the marketing process” and make it accessible was an echo of the Webtel.mobi policy to make its low-cost, internet-initiated mobile phone service available to people across the globe.
“Webtel.mobi’s service – which offers call and text rates up to 80% less than competitors’ standard costs – is an innovation leader and we have chosen to do the same in the way we market and advertise ourselves,” added the spokesman.
The response and the success of the competition is due to the quality of Webtel.mobi’s communications product; the fair value offered in terms of the prize money and the free creative thinking which was liberated by tapping directly into the skills and abilities of an unlimited global market of potential video producers.
Said the spokesman: “The variety of ideas we got, and the different production style used by contestants gave us a much broader creative marketing base than we would have got had we gone to any traditional agency – no matter how highly regarded they might be in the business.”
“The fact that we got 174 submissions just shows that if you provide the global market with fair value, you’ll get a return on investment from the online community that justifies your outlay hundreds of times over.”
“Just as the global print media advertizing market is contracting rapidly because of the advent of more cost-effective online advertizing, so this outstanding result is evident of the rapid decline of high-cost video production by traditional visual media in favor of online calls for submissions.”
"Our view is that in the same way that 'Citizen Reporters' outside of the major news agencies are now recognized as part of the mainstream news industry internationally, so 'Citizen Marketers' outside of the major creative agencies should and will also become part of the mainstream international advertising industry".
Webtel.mobi partnered with two leading online companies for its campaign. Unruly Media provided the project management, and Zooppa.com hosted the competition on its online ad submission platform.
News of this competition and its result is spreading rapidly internationally, causing companies to re-evaluate and refocus their visual media strategies away from traditional agencies as they search for innovative and cost-effective marketing solutions.
It’s got to be a wake-up call for anyone doing marketing and advertizing the “old” way.
Click on the TV channel’s name to view
Webtel.mobi – ultra low cost mobile calling and texting service
January 5, 2009 EPR Telecom News
Webtel.mobi provides a service which cuts the cost of mobile calling and texting services by up to 80%, while allowing consumers to use their own mobile phones and numbers for the calls and texts.
Other than this, there is no requirement for users to sign up to a traditional mobile provider contract to use the service, and it’s free to join.
Webtel.mobi is accessible from all web-enabled mobile phones, but the internet is only used to initiate the calls or texts. The actual calls and texts go over a Next Generation Telephony Switch when initiated. This means that unlike VoIP-over-mobile services, there are no significant internet data-transfer costs for Webtel.mobi calls or texts.
Other than cutting the standard costs for mobile calling and texting by up to 80%, Webtel.mobi also cuts roaming costs dramatically, or removes them totally.
Consumers using Webtel.mobi to make calls while roaming are only charged the cost of an incoming roaming call by their own network provider. Incoming roaming charges usually only cost a quarter of outgoing roaming charges, so there is up to a 75% saving for consumers on roaming call costs – as well as the saving of up to 80% on the actual call cost.
Consumers using Webtel.mobi for text messaging while roaming are not charged any roaming fee at all on their text message by their own network provider, and therefore achieve a 100% saving on roaming text costs – as well as the 80%+ average saving on the cost of sending roaming text messages.
Through its online initiation system, Webtel.mobi provides exactly the same mobile functions for calling and texting as any other mobile provider, but its service is available in all countries, and on all mobile phones regardless of the consumers network operator. All that is required is that the mobile phone must be able to access the internet – which over 90% of mobile phones in circulation can do.
Call costs are lower in cost that many standard mobile providers for local calls, and much lower than most mobile provider for local texts.
For international or roaming calls and texts, Webtel.mobi’s costs are much lower than the standard costs for most other mobile operators.
Because of its versatile and easy-to-use platform, Webtel.mobi has seen usage of its system increase in both the private and corporate sectors, among all age and income groups, and in all countries internationally.
Webtel.mobi is available from all web-enabled mobile phones at: http://www.webtel.mobi.The Webtel.mobi desktop site available at http://www.webtel.mobi/pc can also be used from to initiate mobile or landline calls or to send texts.
Zooppa Named 'Innovation Winner' at 2009 PACT Entrepreneurship Event
SUNNYVALE, Calif., June 9 -- Zooppa.com, the world's largest social network for user-generated advertising, has been named the 'Innovation Winner' at the 2009 Plug and Play Acceleration and Collaboration Track (PACT) Event for international start-up companies held annually in Silicon Valley. Zooppa competed and won against start-up companies from around the world, including entries from the USA, Canada, Germany, Spain, Italy and Israel.
Companies competing in PACT were judged by a panel of eight Silicon Valley venture capital firms: Wellington Partners, Translink, Saban Ventures, Global Catalyst, Silicon Valley Bank Capital, Shaw Ventures, CMEA Ventures, Blumberg Capital, Walden International and Bessemer Venture Partners.
Zooppa is currently working with Sony Music, Sun Microsystems and Webtel.mobi on user-generated advertising campaigns offering up to $76,000 in prize money. It has also worked with brands such as Google, Nike, Mini, Jones Soda and Nestle.
Webtel.mobi gears up for Valentine’s Day texting spike
Specialized mobile call and text provider Webtel.mobi, which provides a mobile calling and texting services at up to 80% below standard rates, is preparing its network to manage the expected surge of texts sent on Valentine’s Day.
Typically, Valentine’s Day sees international texting volumes spike by hundreds of percent internationally. In the United States, Valentine’s Day sees texting daily texting volumes rise to over 2.2 Billion.
According to a Webtel.mobi spokesman, their low cost calling and texting service experienced a 1000%+ spike on New Year’s day 2009, as consumers took advantage of their Ultra-Low cost texting service – whereby texts can be sent locally or internationally for between 4 cents to 9 cents per 160 character text message.
Once again, they are expecting a similar surge on Valentine’s day, and are putting procedures in place to make sure that they system can effectively cope with this surge in all countries internationally.
Webtel.mobi’s system is available to all web-enabled mobile phones internationally, in all countries and on all networks. It is free to join, and no contract is required.
To use webtel.mobi, consumers just have to go to the Webtel.mobi site at http://www.webtel.mobi from their mobile phone (or their desktop) and join. They can then load credit onto their accounts via PayPal, and begin calling or texting immediately.
Webtel.mobi also has a desktop Help and FAQ site at http://www.webtel.mobi/pc where consumers can get information on the Webtel.mobi service and its Rates.
SatStream and Groovy Gecko to Stream World’s First Intercontinental Crossing by Jet Wing
SatStream and Groovy Gecko are partnering to stream this global event on Wednesday 25th November, which marks the launch of the Webtel.mobi mobile phone service.
The crossing, which will be made by Jet-powered wing from Morocco to Spain, across the North Atlantic Ocean, will be captured by a fleet of helicopters and aircraft.
The satellite feed will then be transmitted to SatStream’s broadcast facility in London. From there, 6 language commentary will be added and then it will be streamed live to the Internet and available free across the globe.
Craig Moehl, MD at Groovy Gecko said “The Webtel.mobi Intercontinental Challenge is a first on so many levels. No one has ever crossed continents by jet-wing before. It is also a first on a number of technical levels.
We are used to collaborating with our Digital Agency clients on such ground-breaking events, but to consult directly for a client on such a first illustrates how forward-thinking Webtel.mobi are in their approach to everything that they do.”
Groovy Gecko will work with SatStream, the London-based broadcast standards facility designed specifically for satellite signal acquisition, to produce the event which will go out to broadcasters and internet news sites.
INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS (PTY) LIMITED
REG. NO. 1989AXJ4672AJ7
121 P.O. Box 1014 Johannesburg 2000
The Star Building
June 23, 2011
Webtel.mobi Intercontinental Challenge
During the course of 2010, I was approached by two organisations to do presentations on the Challenge. This followed informal meetings with people in the advertising and marketing industries who had followed my writings on my experiences
The first was marketing agency Kezi Communications, which has an events arm which does regular lectures, lunches and breakfast meetings for the advertising sector and for specific clients.
The second was by a company which does training work for the Sector Education Training Authority (Seta), a government-mandated body which oversees the media, marketing and advertising sectors. Specifically, the presentation was aimed to be part of a regular series of talks about international issues related to marketing and which are aimed at those studying for a qualification as a Chartered Marketer and those who are already qualified.
Kezi's presentations (delivered by me) were to a variety of different clients from the advertising and marketing sectors, including people from the customer service, creative and strategic sections of their respective companies.
All of the presentations (there were more technical marketing points made in the series aimed at marketers, for example) were intended to spread some of the experiences of the Challenge and specifically how to attract large audiences with comparatively small budgets. For the marketers, there was a specific emphasis on branding and brand messaging.
During July this year, I will be doing the presentation for the VWV group - strategic and creative personnel -after they expressed interest in the technical and media aspects of the event. The VWV Group is the biggest experiential company in Africa and was responsible for producing the opening and closing ceremonies at the 2010 Fifa World Cup, which was held in Johannesburg.
I would also certainly agree that the combined advertising value of the media coverage generated by the event could be as much as US$ 20 billion. The TV coverage saw an effective "roadblocking" of channels in Europe and a similar phenomenon in Asia and the Americas, for a time during the live broadcast of the event. That airtime alone would have been worth billions of dollars, but the highlights of the event were later syndicated to, and aired by, more than 5 000 TV channels (and networks) around the globe. It is virtually impossible to calculate the value of that exposure, in terms of standard advertising rates, as there are just too many organisations which used the material.
I stressed in my presentations, and in what I have written about the Challenge, that this value of exposure is estimated purely on the 1:1 advertising value of the airtime (to say nothing of the associated huge volume of print, radio and Internet stories). In many cases, PR consultants are guilty of inflating coverage value by applying a nebulous "multiplication factor" which is said to cater for the fact that editorial coverage (as this was) is that much more valuable than bought coverage.
Executive Editor: Independent Newspapers
Editor: Media and Marketing
23 June 2011
RE: The lessons and disruptive effect of the Webtel.Mobi Intercontinental Challenge on global marketing norms, presented by Kezi Communications, 2010
As per our recent discussion, we still get enquiries from the CEOs and Marketing Directors of significant companies and firms who would like to attend future presentations on the Webtel.Mobi case study. Our company also still uses the Webtel.Mobi case study as the reference point in educating clients about what can be done with a small team, and an involved CEO!
The disruptive effect of this unique event on conventional international media and marketing doctrine and strategies, and the worldwide records that it broke and set in terms of global brand marketing reach within 24 hours are still the topic of conversation throughout the industry.
Regarding your request for confirmation, I can confirm that the presentations on the Webtel.mobi Intercontinental Challenge that we presented last year were attended by the CEOs and Marketing Directors from leading companies, as well as by senior professionals from various firms across multiple sectors.
Some examples of the level and type of companies that attended are as follow;
Y&R (Young & Rubicam).
The Y&R Group has 6 500 people in 186 offices in multiple countries. It is a global advertising and marketing company.
The TBWA Group
The Global TBWA Group is a multi-award winning full service marketing and advertising agencies worldwide, with divisions in advertising, retail, mobile, web, promotions, events and experiences).
Provides post-production, special effects and multiple creative solutions across the advertising, feature film and television industries.
As you are aware, the lessons of the Challenge in breaking the mold of prevailing rulebooks and conventional wisdom in the marketing arena to achieve world record-breaking results were fully taken on board by the attending Marketing and Advertising Company CEOs, Marketing Directors and other executives. Some of the noteworthy comments included:
“The use of Social Media was brilliant”.
“It’s unbelievable to think that one event can affect so many people across the globe at the same time”.
“Webtel.Mobi’s brand positioning was very clever - they knew just how to do it and where to position their logo”.
“It is very easy to see how a campaign such as this can translate across all industries”.
“It is mind-blowing to see what can actually be done”.
I hope that this letter will be sufficient for the confirmation process that you requested it for.
In closing, I would like to mention again that Kezi would still like to share this case study with more of the interested companies and firms through your presentations, so please let us know when you will again have the opportunity to present.
KEZI COMMUNICATIONS (PTY) LTD
Extract from Wikipedia Article
“Rescue Swimmers in the Media”
The most-viewed rescue swimming event in the media was a marine rescue done by rescue swimmers during the Webtel.mobi Intercontinental Challenge on November 25, 2009. The Webtel.mobi Intercontinental Challenge was the first attempted intercontinental flight between Africa and Europe by man using jetwings, and it was broadcast live worldwide on television. Swiss pilot Yves Rossy, the person who had accepted the Webtel.mobi Intercontinental Challenge, had to ditch into the North Atlantic Ocean midway through the 30-mile flight from Morocco to Spain after his wing was destabilized by a large cumulonimbus cloud. After being located, an emergency marine rescue was undertaken by rescue swimmers live on television, with the Associated Press reporting that more than two billion people had viewed the rescue worldwide on the day of broadcast. The rescue swimmers for this emergency were Stuart Sterzel and Garth Eloff, both former Special Operators from Special Forces. Stuart Sterzel was also the CEO of Webtel.mobi, the company staging the event. A third standby rescue swimmer was John Brokaar, also a former Special Operator from Special Forces. The rescue took place in extremely dangerous conditions in the North Atlantic, with the downed pilot being located in less than 15 minutes after his ditched entry into the ocean, in an area where the average time for locating a person in the water is four hours. Once located, he was extracted from the water in a flawless marine rescue. The success of the rescue was credited to the rescue rehearsal carried out on the day before the event, which was also televised worldwide as it happened. The rehearsal took place during a rough-sea state and high winds, and was done to confirm that the rescue swimmers would be able to carry out an effective rescue in the dangerous conditions in the area, which include very strong rip currents, high swells, and cold water temperature in the North Atlantic. On the day of the rehearsal, the rough-sea state and high winds forced Sterzel and Eloff to exit into the North Atlantic Ocean from the skid of a Bell helicopter at a height of over 40 feet, which causes significant water-entry shock on entry. The water-entry shock was reduced only by their succeeding in entering the water at an optimal entry angle despite the high wind and an unstable exit platform. This was attributed to their previous training and experience.