The Fascinating World of Digital Coupons

A study conducted by Harris Interactive found adults with children at home are more likely to be interested in text alerts about sales and promotions than those with no kids at home. Of people with kids younger than 6 in their household, 35% are at least somewhat interested in getting opt-in text alerts from favorite businesses, compared to 32% of households with older kids and 25% of homes with no children. (The study, conducted in May with 2,000 adults, does not distinguish between childless adults and empty-nesters.)
The Growing Market for Mobile Coupons
According to this compelling infographic, mobile coupons appear to be what is driving the mobile advertising market’s growth – and are the most motivating to consumers. Mobile coupons were a $90 million market in the U.S. in 2009, but are expected to grow to $6.5 billion in 4 years. Particularly convincing is that coupons and purchase incentives drive people to spend far more than they would have without said coupon – on average, from $122 without a coupon to $216 with.
    Kroger Co., looking to boost traffic and use of its loyalty program, is making it easier to download digital coupons and load them onto its loyalty cards. The grocery chain is offering more than 100 coupons on its website and allowing users to digitally “clip” them and load them onto their Kroger Plus loyalty cards – the first time Kroger has put together a digital clearinghouse in this way. At checkout, shoppers scan their Plus Card and the discounts are automatically deducted from their bill, the company explains. The Digital Coupon Center includes coupons for Kroger private label brands as well as for popular brands.
    Simon Property Group has teamed up with a Silicon startup, Shopkick, to give its retailers a new option with digital couponing: an application that beams offers to shoppers as they walk by the stores. Simon Property Group is one of the largest retail real estate owners in the country, with some 370 shopping centers. It will be launching this program in 25 of its stores in New York, Chicago, southern California and San Francisco, with plans to introduce it in 100 centers over the next several months. (via the AP). This is how the application works: retailers install the Shopkick application on small speakers at the entrance to their stores. These emit an inaudible sound – which contains a code for the store – that is picked up by cellphones’ microphones. Consumers need to have the Shopkick app on their phones to receive any offers.

    Kroger Takes Online Coupons to Next Level (adweek.com)
    Kroger Launches Online Coupon Center (webpronews.com)
    Shopkick Prepares to Kick Off a Geo-Retailing Revolution (dailyfinance.com)
    Best Buy Launches Shopkick Automatic Checkins and Rewards at 257 Stores (mashable.com)
    Mall deal gives big boost to cell-phone coupons (sfgate.com)
    shopkick and Simon Property Group to Bring Location-Based Shopping App to More Than 100 of the Nation’s Largest Malls (prnewswire.com)

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    Digital: Facebook as Social Glue, Digital Creative, Conde’s Ads, Digital v Traditional Agencies

    Today was extremely important for the Internet. Facebook announced that its “Like” button is going to appear on publisher sites all over the Internet. These buttons will populate a user’s profile in Facebook linking back to the originating site while also providing Facebook with even more immensely valuable, realtime data about its consumers. Here’s an Ad Age story covering the announcement (which includes my perspective) and below is my deeper analysis of the announcement and what it means for marketers, publishers and agencies.

    What makes a great online display ad? Ashley Ringrose, co-founder of Soap Creative and curator of Bannerblog, has a few ideas. Among them: A truly interactive ad must have an interactive idea. That, and it should be useful, not annoying, to consumers.
    Conde Nast’s digital arm is treading firmly on guarded agency turf by offering creative services to advertisers — even for ads that don’t run in Conde Nast properties, Advertising Age has learned. The glossy publisher’s in-house creative services group known as CND Studios is now accepting client assignments to craft ad campaigns regardless of placement. It is a significant shift for the company, which in the past has only done creative work for advertisers buying space on one of its publications, whether in print or online.

    Battles between agencies leading to failure
    The “battle” between digital and traditional agencies is contributing to the failure of many advertising campaigns, Kristi VandenBosch, ceo of Publicis & Hal Riney, has said. VandenBosch was speaking at the Ad:Tech conference in San Francisco, covered in more detail by Geoffrey Precourt, Warc’s US editor, here. She suggested that rather than providing a coordinated service for their clients, traditional and interactive agencies frequently ended up in conflict with one another. “Traditional and digital agencies are caught up with who gets to lead, but neither has earned the right,” said VandenBosch. “[Often] it is not a battle for leadership or control, but for who gets the credit.” The main cause of this situation is that traditional agencies generally emphasise “objects”, whereas their counterparts that primarily focus on new media tend to think in terms of “systems”.

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    Social Media: Iceland Friends, BART AR, Absolut Drinkspiration, JetBlue Twitter

    Iceland wants to be your friend
    Iceland Wants to Be Your Friend is an initiative of the Icelandic Tourist Board, “which means that it’s a very, very, very serious thing indeed. It is loved and cared for by many good people for at Takk Takk, using brains and fancy machines.”

    San Franciso’s subway system, the BART, is the latest entity to use augmented reality to grab customers’ – or in this case, riders’ – attention with a message. Developed by metaio, the application – called junaio – shows transit data such as station locations and estimated arrival times. Riders point the phone’s camera and find directions to the nearest BART station and a list of estimated arrivals for the next several trains via text or graphics that are overlaid on real objects.
    Absolut is launching Drinkspiration, a drink application combining the latest mobile technology with GPS, Twitter, and Facebook. Drinkspiration is an interactive encyclopedia of recipes that helps you find and share personalized drink recommendations based on taste, weather, time of day, bar vibe, sound volume and real-time drink trends. Drinkspiration by Absolut for Android is available for free in the Android Market.

    Jetblue Twitter promotion attracts huge crowds
    Huge crowds gathered across New York this week after budget airline JetBlue announced via Twitter that it would give away airline tickets at undisclosed locations across the city. Hundreds of tickets were given away within minutes of each location’s being announced, with long lines forming and one taxi driver abandoning his vehicle (and his fare) to claim a free ticket.

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    OoH: Prius Flowers, Digital Driver

    Toyota plants big Prius flowerscapes next to California freeways
    The 2010 Toyota Prius is being promoted with flowers—up to 180,000 of them, to be exact. The automaker is creating nine “harmony floralscapes.” The first, which used 20,000 flowers, was unveiled this week alongside the Pasadena Freeway in downtown Los Angeles. Greenroad Media has found a way to recreate images using its “Living Pixel” technology and living flowers. In this case, what looks to be an orange Prius sits within a sun, using 60 feet of flowers. The floralscapes are required to be non-commercial in nature, so the designs are meant to capture the essence of Saatchi & Saatchi L.A.‘s “Harmony Between Man, Nature and Machine” campaign for the Prius. Seven floralscapes, in a number of different designs, will be planted in L.A. Two will pop up in San Francisco. Only organic and reusable materials were used for the project, as well as non-potable water and solar electricity.

    prius flower

    Toyota devoted a chunk of its marketing budget for the 2010 Prius to experiments with non-traditional ways of using traditional media. The resulting programs have been more art installation with environmental and interconnectivity than “Buy Prius Now.”
    Veronis Suhler Stevenson has become the latest to forecast a comparatively brisk future for out-of-home media, and for that much of the credit goes to digital. The increase in digital billboards, video advertising networks (VANs) and alternative ambient advertising, which is included in digital estimates, has driven much of the growth of the OOH industry the past few years, and it will continue to do so at least through 2013. The media investment banking firm forecasts that out-of-home ad revenue will post a 4.9 percent compound annual growth rate from 2008 to 2013, compared to a 3.3 percent decline for traditional advertising.
    digital ooh billboard
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    Gareth Kay Going To Goodby!

    Goodby Hires Modernista!’s Kay for Digital
    Goodby, Silverstein & Partners has hired Gareth Kay as its new director of digital strategy. Kay is shifting to the San Francisco shop from Modernista!, where he was head of planning. He served at the Boston agency for six years after moving to the U.S. from London, where he worked at Lowe. Kay replaces Hashem Bajwa, who left Goodby in May to join TBWA as part of a clutch of “digital artists” brought in to supercharge its efforts in new media.”

    Good luck Gareth!

    gareth_kay


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    Best Cities For: Hair, Men, Startups

    Santa Barbara, Calif. has been named the best US city for “good hair days,” while Corpus Christi, Tex. ranks as the place where people are most likely to experience a “bad hair day,” according to an analysis compiled by TotalBeauty.com, which listed the top cities in each category. The study examined average humidity levels, pollution, rainfall, wind speeds, water hardness, demographics, and took into account the number of beauty salons per capita to determine rankings for the cities have the best – and worst – conditions for healthy, stylish hair.
    cities
    Best Cities for Men: Chicago, Barcelona, San Francisco
    Because it strikes the ideal balance between “cosmopolitan” and “comfortable,” Chicago has landed the #1 spot on the list of the world’s 29 best cities for men, according to website AskMen.com, which recently conducted the analysis. Barcelona and San Francisco came in at #2 and #3. Cities that round out the top 10 are London, Sydney, New York City, Berlin, Hong Kong, Copenhagen and Paris.
    Small US cities that have a stable base of industry, a young and educated workforce, plentiful venture capital and a reasonable cost of living are the most conducive to startups, according to BusinessWeek and ZoomProspector, which recently collaborated to identify the best small city in each state in which to start a business. The research found that, among other things, proximity to a university was an important factor in city selection. As examples, the cities of Ann Arbor, Mich., Auburn, Ala., Cambridge, Mass., and Colombia, Mo., all were tops in their respective states
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