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Hewlett-Packard, Hearst reward users via mobile promotion

December 28, 2011

The Popular Mechanics November issue

Hewlett-Packard recently partnered with Hearst for a mobile initiative where Popular Mechanic subscribers could enter to win prizes by either scanning a personalized QR code or by entering a custom URL link.

The mobile efforts were used in the November issue of Popular Mechanics’ annual Breakthrough Innovation Awards. The mobile calls to action were placed on supplements and sent to 300,000 subscribers.

“The link to the Breakthrough Innovation Awards with HP’s innovative approach gave us an opportunity to tie in with the magazine’s readers since we knew they would appreciate it,” said Michelle Weir, market development manager for publishing at HP, Palo Alto.

“The connection with Popular Mechanics was a good fit with what we were trying to do,” she said.

Snap on mobile
HP worked with Popular Mechanics on two sets of mobile initiatives for the November issue.

Each special advertising issue featured an outsert with the subscriber’s name and information.

Additionally, a 16-page insert educated users about the HP brand and let them browse the company’s products.

On the reverse side, users were able to scan a QR code with their smartphones to enter to win a wireless HP printer.

Once users scanned the QR code, they were prompted to enter their information to enter the sweepstakes.

To tie in with the HP brand, readers were asked at the end of the entry form if they were interested in purchasing a HP printer.

Users could also enter the contest by entering a custom URL into their mobile device’s browser, which redirected them to a mobile landing page.

Here are the QR code-enabled inserts select Popular Mechanics readers received

The sweepstakes gave away 20 HP printers.

HP and Hearst claim that the campaign generated 15,000 visits to the mobile landing page and 10,000 unique entries within the first 28 days of the campaign.

The issues were sent to subscribers in 12 key markets, including New York, San Francisco, Dallas and Philadelphia.

In addition to the digital push, each supplement directed users to their closest Staples or Best Buy location, where they could learn more about the HP printers.

Mobile response
According to a VISTA report from HP, the mobile advertising initiatives were well received with readers.

Eighty-two percent of the special-edition subscribers surveyed said they enjoyed the advertising materials.

Additionally, 74 percent of survey respondents said they viewed the HP brand as innovative with the technology.

Seventy-eight percent of readers enjoyed learning about HP, and 66 percent of consumers said they would like to see more content from the company in the future.

Using mobile bar codes with advertising to reward users and leverage print content is being used by multiple publications in addition to Popular Mechanics.

For example, Glamour magazine recently worked with 25 advertisers to reward users who scanned snap tags in the issue with deals and offers (see story).

According to Ms. Weir, the campaign was interesting because the prizes were relatively low-cost at $250 each.

“It was not a matter of what we were selling, but more about how readers interacted with the program and technology,” Ms. Weir said.

“You can buy an ad but never know how someone acts on it, and we wanted to test that with this campaign to see if it was an effective use of our money,” she said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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