Chrysler recently launched an aggressive ad campaign for its newly redesigned Jeep Wrangler. One of the components of the campaign was a promotional partnership with retailer Trans World Entertainment that delivered over 17.8 million impressions to Jeep's target audience.
Trans World operates stores under the banner of f.y.e., For Your Entertainment. With more than 800 stores f.y.e. is the largest specialty retailer in the country in the entertainment category (selling music, movies, games and small electronics).
The promotion made sense for Jeep since a large portion of f.y.e.'s customers are young men aged 18 - 34, the demographic coveted by Jeep for the Wrangler.
The core of the promotion involved a contest with f.y.e. customers given a chance to scan the barcode on an entry to win a new Jeep Wrangler. It was a fully integrated promotion which included in-store signage, Jeep ads on f.y.e. in-store TV, store associates in Jeep tee shirts, Wrangler presence on the f.y.e. web site, Jeep integration with the retailer's e-marketing communications, a jeep integrated into the fuse TV show, "Amplified Guide to the Holidays", a Jeep Wrangler tag on f.y.e.'s national radio spots, and a special "scan to win" booklet with a Wrangler ad distributed in the stores. It was an exciting non-traditional way for Jeep to reach its' potential customers but, by far, the most exciting and unique portion of the promotion were the custom ads delivered at f.y.e.'s listening and viewing stations (LVS).
The listening and viewing stations are unique to f.y.e. Stores. They are LCD screens placed around the store at eye level that allow the consumer to scan the bar code of a CD, DVD or game and sample the contents. Installed in stores 5 years ago, the LVS stations are now in their third generation.
"Customers love the LVS stations" said Barry Burmaster, Director of Marketing for Trans World, "they spend a lot more time in the stores, browsing and sampling products".
Burmaster notes that recent upgrades in technology have allowed ads to be delivered to customers at the LVS stations. "Jeep was the first major advertiser for our in-store ad delivery", Burmaster said, "and it exceeded our expectations".
There were two ways consumers saw Jeep ads at the LVS stations. When they got the entry booklets in the stores there was a barcode printed on the back page that customers could scan to see if they won the Wrangler. They also saw an ad when they scanned a product at the LVS stations.
"We had over 700,000 scans of the booklets, which we thought was pretty good since it represented around a 40% entry rate, but we had 17.8 million Wrangler ads delivered with the product scans which greatly exceeded what we expected," said Burmaster.
In this age of DVRs, satellite radio and so on, the ability to deliver ads to a captured customer, standing in front of the screen with headphones on is an intriguing way to reach the illusive youth audience. You might think this could be viewed as an intrusion into their shopping experience. Burmaster said that f.y.e. received no customer complaints about the ads. One key to the program is restraint. Customers only saw the ad the first time they scanned a product, the ad would not appear with additional scans. Another success factor is keeping the ads short, no more than 10 or 15 seconds. The third and most important factor, according to Burmaster, is to make the spots engaging and entertaining.
"Our stores are all about entertainment so if the spot is not entertaining it simply will not work as well and might even meet with consumer resistance," maintains Burmaster.
The spot created by Chrysler's agency, BBDO in Detroit, was a 15 second version of the now famous "Another Species From Jeep" campaign. It was intriguing and entertaining and Burmaster relates that many customers seemed to enjoy seeing it.
With all the talk about the difficulty of connecting with the youth market and the diminishing effectiveness of traditional advertising, f.y.e. seems to have a very compelling way to reach this elusive segment. According to Burmaster, they have just scratched the surface in terms of their ability to deliver customized ads in-store.
Source: Trans World Entertainment Corporation