Cingular’s ‘Five Bars’ to Feature in Promo

A new Web and mobile campaign from Cingular will combine two hot marketing trends in a single promotion. The “Raising the bar” photo contest and sweepstakes aims to capitalize on user-created media. At the same time, it obliquely promotes Cingular’s own advertising collateral from the ongoing campaign of the same name.

Created by Atmosphere BBDO, the effort asks owners of Cingular camera phones to shoot and send in photographic analogies to the “five bars” mobile reception icon, which is regularly featured in Cingular advertising.

The promo launches on July 1 and runs through September 24. Atmosphere also produced online advertising to build awareness and participation. The media plan includes placements on Webshots, Snapfish.com, MSN, Yahoo, America Online, MySpace.com and WhenU. Creative consists of four rich display units depicting a hand and a Cingular camera phone snapping photos of various “five bar” set-ups.

Banners and in-store collateral will point to a Web site that describes the contest and displays contest submissions. It will also have a “forward to a friend” feature.

Atmosphere is an old hand at user-created content, having built the well-known GE “Imagination at Work Pen” banner campaign that turned ad space into a palette for creative doodling.

Cingular will give away cash prizes to random participants, and will additionally hand out a weekly cash award based on photographic merit. The three-month promotion will culminate in a $50,000 prize for the best single submission, chosen by New York photographer Robert Clark.

In addition to the dominant online ads, newspaper/print placements will support the contest. Cingular advertising has depicted the “five bar” imagery in wheat fields and on sushi plates, among other settings.

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