Jabra's Message: Keep Your Hands Off Of It!

Got Cellbow/Jabra

Watch out, Carpal Tunnel, there's a new injury in town: Cellbow.

Jabra, the Danish maker of hands-free devices for cell phones, has launched a tongue-in-cheek marketing campaign to draw attention to a medical malady (yes, it really exists) that results from spending too much time holding a cell phone up to one's ear.

"What we're trying to do in a fun and provocative way is show the benefits of using a headset, that using a headset will leave you hands-free and will give you the freedom to multitask," Jonas Forsberg, general manager of Jabra's North American business, tells Marketing Daily.

The company has created a dedicated site, www.gotcellbow.com, where the videos can be accessed. The first video features a group of men in a doctor's waiting room holding their arms and talking about their injuries. "You know, they say if you do it too much, this will happen, right?" says one. "It's like a compulsion. I do it at home, work, public places," says another. As the repartee continues, a bike messenger enters the office holding a cell phone to his ear, saying: "I only did it five minutes ago." A nurse comes out to admonish him, "If you keep playing with it, it's only going to get worse." The take away: "Stop Cellbow. Use a Jabra Headset."

By creating the Web site, Jabra is hoping to create a viral campaign that people will pass along both via e-mail and social media and through multimedia text messaging, with the help of Mogreet, whose technology compresses videos to be played on video-capable phones. With Mogreet, Jabra is launching the mobile marketing campaign in multiple countries and across 35 wireless carriers.

"We tried to do it in a fun way to generate attention and get people to pass them along," he says. The company is looking to draw attention to the videos by seeding them via banners and through the company's e-mail database.

Otherwise known as "Cubital Tunnel Syndrome," cellbow is caused by a pinched, damaged or irritated ulnar nerve, resulting in numbness in one's ring and little fingers or elbow. The humorous campaign is intended to show that headsets are useful for purposes other than driving, Forsberg says. "If you get a hurting elbow while using a cell phone, that's cellbow," he says.

According to Forsberg, only 14% of cell phone users regularly use the hands-free headsets. "This is about creating overall awareness," he says of the campaign. "Our biggest competitor here is non-users."

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