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Saturday, 3 August, 2002, 07:22 GMT 08:22 UK
Say 'cheese' to digital camera stunt
Woman taking picture
Will traditional cameras be replaced by mobile phones?
The camera may never lie but the same might not be true of the person asking to have their picture taken.

As part of its campaign to promote the T68i mobile phone with add-on camera, SonyEricsson has hired 120 actors to play tourists and invite passers-by to take their picture using the new multimedia phone.

Critics have hailed it as the ultimate in guerrilla marketing but SonyEricsson insists the 60-day campaign is all in good fun.

It is, however, making a serious investment of $5 million in the strategy which will run in seven US cities and see the actor-tourists targeting attractions such as the Empire State Building in New York and the Space Needle in Seattle.

'Young and cool'

Some of the actors will hang out in bars using the phones picture sending facilities.

SonyEricsson's camera phone
Actors will show off new camera phone
The company said actors will only pass on information about the phone if asked by the members of the public.

According to Jon Maron, Director of Marketing at SonyEricsson, the firm went to some lengths to look for young people that had an interest in technology.

"They are not just actors and actresses. They're the young, cool people in the areas where they live," Mr Maron said.

Outselling cameras

Mobile phones with built-in cameras are proving popular with consumers and offering a ray of light to an otherwise depressed electronic manufacturing industry.

According to research firm Strategy Analytics, 16 million camera phones will be sold worldwide in 2002 and by 2007 they will outstrip conventional digital cameras.

The firm predicts 147 million camera phones will be sold in 2007, compared with 95 million digital cameras.

"Camera phones will be an essential tool in driving handset replacement sets in the next five years," said senior analyst Neil Mawston.

See also:

22 Jul 02 | dot life
25 Apr 02 | Science/Nature
30 Jan 02 | Science/Nature
17 Jan 02 | Business
18 Sep 01 | Science/Nature
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