Motorola launches £1,400 mobile phone despite credit crunch

LONDON - Motorola is running a £2m print, outdoor and online campaign for its £1,400 Aura mobile phone.

Print ads will appear in fashion and luxury monthly magazines including Vogue, Wallpaper, Monacle and Quintessential to promote the handset, which is to be sold in Selfridges.

Digital activity will include an Aura microsite and content on invitation-only web community A Small World.

Andrew Morley, Motorola's vice president of marketing, EMEA, said the campaign was targeting an upmarket audience through online marketing as opposed to TV. 'High-end purchasers are more considered, and make savoured purchases. They use the web for research. The Aura is more than just a product; it is a brand too.'

Morley denied that the economic downturn would effect sales of such an expensive handset. 'Next year the luxury watch market is expected to be up 9%, and luxury fashion and perfumes up 1%, which is three times the size of the market ten years ago.'

Motorola consolidated its creative work into Ogilvy this year, following a pitch in which Abbot Mead Vickers withdrew from the business. Ogilvy now works on Motorola's campaigns in more 115 countries, while AKQA handles its digital business.

Morley refused to comment on expected changes to Motorola's marketing team in early 2009, except to say that 'everyone is making redundancies'. The brand has, however, appointed a UK general manager to replace Jim Michel, who left in November. The role has been filled by Gillian Tune, formerly general manager of accessories, Motorola Europe.

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