Moldovan mobile operator Moldcell has launched an SMS contest called “I Love Football,” being held between 12 June and 13 July 2014 in connection with the FIFA World Cup taking place in Brazil during that period. To enter, customers must send an SMS that includes certain words to a certain number; they will then be sent football-related questions that they can answer to accumulate points. Depending on the number of points, contestants can win a trip to Spain, two Sony C2305 and Sony C2005 smartphones or footballs. In addition, customers who send more than 30 messages to the contest number will receive 5 MB of data and five on-net SMS free of charge, available for 15 days for each sent SMS.
Declining use of SMS is a global trend, and operators in many markets are looking for ways to promote the service. A timely contest such as this one, which takes advantage of a passionate interest common to many customers, is a good way to stimulate more frequent use of SMS, at least for the duration of the contest. Whether any new usage patterns will persist after the promotion ends is yet to be seen, of course, but considering the strength of the challenge to SMS from less-expensive OTT messaging services, we think this strategy is well worth trying out.