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Auntie Anne’s pilots mobile advertising initiative to increase foot traffic

July 27, 2012

Soft pretzel franchise Auntie Anne’s is piloting a mobile advertising campaign that aims to drive consumers to its in-store locations.

The company has partnered with The Coca-Cola Co., Millennial Media and Sparkfly to run a mobile initiative that will offer consumers a deal, which can be measured and tracked. The company ran a similar point-of-sale-based mobile promotion with Sparkfly earlier this year.

“For us, one of the most exciting things is the ability to do seamless redemption at the cash registers,” said Marcus Startzel, general manager of North America at Millennial Media. “It’s about being able to track and quantify the return on advertising spend.

“We’re excited about this partnership,” he said. “We’re starting to see brands shift traditional advertising dollars straight into mobile, and we’re excited to marry that advertising with the tracking that we can measure.”

Auntie Anne’s pretzels are available in a variety of flavors including Original, Cinnamon Sugar, Almond, Garlic, Pepperoni, and Sour Cream and Onion. Pretzel Stix and Nuggets offer a more portable option for pretzel lovers on the go, and the Pretzel Dog is a popular lunch item.

Sparkfly is a provider of services that capture consumer purchase data and provide immediately redeemable consumer offers.

Millennial Media is an independent mobile advertising platform company.

Highly targeted
The Auntie Anne’s mobile ad campaign will run in the next few weeks, during the back-to-school shopping season.

According to the company, the mobile ad creative will test different combinations of Auntie Anne’s and Coca-Cola items for purchase at ten Atlanta-area locations.

Additionally, each ad unit will contain a unique redemption code from Sparkfly that enables the item-level tracking of individual consumer sales and the revenue impact of the promotion, per Mr. Startzel.

After tapping on the mobile ad, consumers can redeem their coupon at the point-of-sale or save it for later.

If consumers choose to save the deal for later, they will receive an SMS message with a link to the redemption code that can then be used at any time during the promotional period.

The campaign will be highlighting four different deals: A free 21 oz. Coca-Cola fountain beverage with the purchase of any pretzel; a free signature pretzel with the purchase of a 21 oz. Coca-Cola fountain beverage; a free 21 oz. Coca-Cola fountain beverage with the purchase of pretzel nuggets or stix or a free signature pretzel with the purchase of any pretzel item and a 21 oz. Coca-Cola fountain beverage.

“Mobile offers an incredibly opportunity to target and we have the ability to really hone in a on a very defined target and still deliver foot traffic at scale,” Mr. Startzel said.

“This is closing the loop on return on advertising spend and we’re really leveraging the unique targeting that mobile has to offer,” he said.

Consumer engagement
In March, Auntie Anne’s partnered with Sparkfly to increase consumer purchase frequency.

Ten Auntie Anne’s franchise locations in metro Atlanta participated in the pilot that offered visitors a Pretzel Quest.

The Pretzel Quest consisted of a series of frequency offers presented on Sparkfly’s mobile application. For example, the first offer invites visitors to buy a signature pretzel and get another one free (see story).

For its new promotion, Auntie Anne’s is really ramping up its efforts and using mobile to better target consumers.

“Manufacturers and retailers have historically been challenged with measuring the true ROI on digital marketing campaigns,” said Catherine Tabor, CEO of Sparkfly.

“Sparkfly’s platform was developed to enable the redemption and tracking of item-level promotions, in real-time, trough the point-of-sale in a way that is easy for the consumer to use and the retailer to implement,” she said.

“We are excited to launch this program with Millennial Media, Auntie Anne’s and Coke and are ready to leverage our integrations with most of the point-of-sale companies to scale quickly across many retailers in the coming days.”

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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