Mobile Phones To Get A Little More Rock 'n' Roll

htc/fender ad spot with Eric Clapton

Famed electric guitar maker Fender is partnering with T-Mobile and HTC to market a new Fender co-branded myTouch 3G wireless handset. The new phone, which will be available on Jan. 20, is designed to look like a Fender guitar with a sunburst-finish-inspired design. The phone will come pre-loaded with several music-oriented applications including Guitar: Solo and Musical Light, and it can accommodate more powerful headphones and includes space to hold 16 GB of memory for songs.

"The focus and purpose of this [partnership] is to look at music enthusiasts and musicians who need a mobile device," Mark Van Vleet, senior vice president of business affairs for Fender, tells Marketing Daily. "We wanted to make sure they had a great device to experience music on their terms."



To showcase the device, T-Mobile has enlisted Eric Clapton to appear in an ad showcasing a personalized myTouch phone. Following the lines of the company's previous celebrity-filled myTouch ads, the new ad showcases Clapton using several of the phone's applications, including one that simulates a guitar fretboard. As Clapton uses the phone, scrolling through music and showcasing concert video, the phone rings and a notification appears that blues legend Buddy Guy is calling. As Clapton takes the call, a voiceover asserts that the Fender Limited Edition is "not just a phone. It's a collector's item."

"Fender has always had a great relationship with Mr. Clapton," Van Vleet says. "This is something T-mobile and Fender talked to him about. It's something he uses and has practical implications. He felt it was something he wanted to get involved in."

The device will also ship with several pre-loaded songs, including Clapton's hits "Layla," "Rock N Roll Heart" and "Wonderful Tonight" as well as songs from Avril Lavigne, Wyclef Jean and Brad Paisley.

The companies will also market several accessories for the phone, such as Fender branded shells, a Fender carrying case and Rock Dock, a docking station equipped with speakers.

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