Lessons in Dynamic SIM Management from Kimi Räikkönen

Posted: August 23rd, 2010 | Author: Leila Heijola | Filed under: Around the World | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments »

In Finland, as part of our school traditions, every first grader gets his or her first mobile phone at the age of seven. That is when our award-winning school system begins to educate our offspring in order to meet OECD and Pisa test requirements—one factor contributing to Finland recently being named the world’s best country by Newsweek. The battle for these new mobile subscriptions is harsh, with communications service providers offering a wide range of options to parents and their kids.

This July, I received a surprising package from Kimi Räikkönen—that was exactly how it was marketed to my target group and how my daughter told it to everyone she met during the following weeks. Finnish mobile operator DNA Finland sent a prepaid SIM card to every Finnish mom (including me) who had a child that was born in 2003 and entering the first grade.

As a marketer, I had to admit that this campaign was extremely clever! A photo of the coolest guy in the universe covered a bright pink package containing not only the pre-paid SIM card but also a Kimi poster, a set of removable tattoos and a reflector—all of the things that first graders simply adore. For moms, DNA included a nice letter explaining how mobile phones are important for protecting kids and giving peace of mind to worrying parents. (In Finland, most of the kids walk or cycle to school and back on their own or with schoolmates or older siblings, and return home hours before their parents.)

After I had recovered from the amazement of Kimi sending me a package, I started to think about the pros and cons of DNA’s offer. First, I have never been a fan of pre-paid subscriptions, even if this one had feature that allowed kids to call two selected numbers, even if they run out of balance. Secondly, I was wondering what the pre-selected number was. Could I change it if I did not like the number? And what about the services? Could I modify the subscription? This might be a good option for a first grader but not so great for an older child a couple of years down the road.

These thoughts brought me back to the same issues I had tackled few months earlier when Comptel was planning the Comptel Dynamic SIM Management launch. And now I needed one–a SIM card management solution.

A month later, Kimi Räikkönen’s charisma faded. One Sunday morning, my daughter said, “Mom, let’s go to the Elisa shop and buy a phone for me!” And that is what we did. Along with a pink Nokia 7020, we purchased a Saunalahti subscription, I selected a phone number that included her date of birth and excluded a couple of unnecessary services.

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