I went to Las Vegas to attend the market launch by Clearwire.
The launch is reaching out to a population of 1.7 Million in a 638 mile area. The launch today continues the road show by Clearwire as they open up new areas around the country. The obvious goal is to keep the bandwagon going. The momentum is certainly heading that way, the stock (NASDAQ: CLWR) has doubled since last year and the company is expanding their rollout strategy. However, the goal is not upgrading existing customers, but to get new customers. It's an uphill battle that requires putting Gorilla Marketing to work.
On Local TV: Clearwire embraced the town of Las Vegas by having the mayor cut the cat 5 cord and donating 20 WiMAX netbooks to the Virtual High School. Taking a shot at Verizon, Clearwire's commercial features cupcakes with sprinkles, like the sprinkles of the Verizon add, except here the sprinkles shower down from the sky beyond the Skittle showers of commercials gone by. The event ended with 500 balloons containing gifts of service and other gifts being dropped on to the local audience.
Street Warfare: The truck is green, with glass panels surrounding two rooms. A living room area and complete with laptop and HD Screen, the second room resembles an office which includes a chair, a desk and of course a laptop. As the truck is driven around Las Vegas, Clearwire employees work in the living room and the office. On the body of the truck is the statement declaring this is not a truck it's a mobile office. It's an "in your face" declaration that WiMAX mobility works.
Chasing the Millenials: The second demo truck is about bandwidth. Hulu, YouTube, Slingbox, unblocked and consistently streaming. (No Caching involved in faking the demo, just the Internet). This demo came in two flavors one with a laptop and one on an ITouch connected to a Slingbox (did we mention ATT likes to block this?) Then a Samsung Mondi with WiMAX embedded is shown and discussed as a Skype friendly video platform.
There were six trucks with demos and signup packages. The strategy is to go where the kids are. It's the younger generation that is the target market, not for a phone, but for the Internet.
The pitch is to offer a service that hangs out with the users. Not a phone, the Internet. Not Cable, the Internet. Not tethered but the wireless Internet. For Clearwire it's not an App Store it's the Web.
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