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Sam’s Club preps for Super Bowl shoppers with incentivized mobile ad campaign

January 22, 2013

Sam’s Club is ramping up its mobile initiatives with a new advertising campaign that drives both sales and in-store traffic.

The ads are running inside the Pandora iPhone application. Sam’s Club has been building up its mobile efforts over the past few years.

“Mobile advertising is simply an additional arm of marketing and advertising to raise awareness to potential consumers of the benefits of membership in Sam’s Club,” said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis, Atlanta.

“If mobile is applied properly to digitize print, signage, media and the entire marketing and advertising calendar, the benefits of higher awareness, engagement and ultimately new members is inevitable,” she said.

Ms. Troutman is not affiliated with Sam’s Club. She commented based on her expertise on the subject.

Sam’s Club did not meet press deadline.

Mobile game prep
The mobile ads feature scrolling animation that encourages users to kick-off the countdown to the upcoming Super Bowl XLVII by stocking up on items from Sam’s Club.

Creative for the ads also includes pictures of logos from some of the brands that are available at Sam’s Club – Best Foods, Hormel and Hillshire Farm.

When tapped on, the ad directs users to a Super Bowl-themed landing page on the Sam’s Club mobile site.

The site includes a clock that counts down the number of days left until the game.

Below, users can check out all of the ingredients needed for a Super Bowl watch party.

Sam’s Club members can then log-in to their accounts and add items to their shopping lists.

The ads also aim to bolster foot traffic for non-members with a button that lets users visit a Sam’s Club location to shop once without a membership.

Consumers can show their mobile device to a Sam’s Club employee to redeem the offer, which is valid through Feb. 3.

Sam’s Club is built around a membership model. Therefore, giving users an incentive to try out shopping in the stores for themselves is a smart feature to add to a time-sensitive mobile ad.

Mobile shoppers
Sam’s Club has been active in the mobile space for a while.

Most recently, the company revamped its mobile app with features centered around Black Friday and online shopping during the holidays (see story).

Additionally, the company launched an iPad app in 2011 to take advantage of the bigger screen size for shopping (see story).

Consumers always have their mobile devices on hand, and savvy marketers are constantly using the medium to create a one-on-one relationship with consumers.

In this case, Sam’s Club can build up the number of its members, which the company likely views as being just as important as driving incremental sales for existing members.

“Depending on when the ad starts running, there are quite a few benefits of promoting bulk purchasing of party items prior to such a wide spread event such as the Super Bowl,” Ms. Troutman said.

“With the economy still coming back, party planners may join a Sam’s Club specifically for the deal of bulk buying since a very large percentage of Americans watch the Super Bowl and have a gathering of some sort if they aren’t attending the game,” she said. “With the rate of mobile usage continually rising, mobile can definitely affect purchase decisions surrounding events such as the Super Bowl.  Brands should think of the consumer behavior first, then build campaigns surrounding this behavior to enable traffic to their locations.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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