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The North Face cements last-minute fall sales through mobile ads

August 27, 2012

Outdoor gear and apparel retailer The North Face Inc. is making one last push to drive back-to-school shopping with a campaign that bolsters traffic to the company’s mobile site.

The North Face ads are running inside the Pandora iPhone application. The company has used mobile advertising in the past to promote seasonal products.

“Today’s marketing and advertising is all about customer’s touchpoints. Mobile advertising enables advertisers to reach their audience on the go more relevantly, at any time,” said Cezar Kolodziej, CEO/president of Iris Mobile, Chicago.

“Since the mobile channel is known to be very receptive and can also be augmented by location, it is a good way to influence back-to-school shopping decisions and make them available on the go,” he said.

Mr. Kolodziej is not affiliated with The North Face. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

The North Face did not respond by press deadline.

The North Face is a division of VF Outdoor, Inc. and sells sporting goods through specialty retailers and chains.

Mobile stash
The North Face is running expandable ads within Pandora.

The creative shows a picture of the brand’s Surge II backpack and features a button in the bottom right-hand corner that encourages users to shop now.

When tapped on, a landing page opens with The North Face’s mobile site. The page is filtered to show backpacks.

Users can shop from the landing pages

Consumers can sort products by categories such as price, new arrivals and highest-rated and read reviews of the item. Color swatches can be clicked on to see the backpacks in different colors, and users can browse and check-out via the landing pages.

For consumers who do not want to buy on the spot, a store locator tab at the top of the page uses either a device’s built-in GPS or a ZIP code to find the nearest store.

Users with an account through The North Face can also log-in via the landing page.

ROI driver
Using a timely mobile campaign could be a great way for The North Face to boost sales.

With consumers increasingly shopping through their mobile devices and back-to-school season wrapping up, users are looking for last-minute items and mobile advertising keeps a brand top of mind for consumers.

By picking one specific product and driving users to the exact page where they can buy products, The North Face ads give consumers a direct action right from the ad unit.

The North Face has used advertising in the past to drive both mobile sales and in-store traffic.

Last year, The North Face ran another mobile ad campaign inside the Pandora iPhone app to drive holiday sales (see story).

Additionally, The North Face worked with Placecast and Razorfish in 2010 on a location-based campaign in Seattle, San Francisco, Boston and New York to drive foot traffic (see story).

“There are many factors impacting buying decisions. Adding a mobile aspect to the mix gives customers more freedom,” Mr. Kolodziej said.

“It is a perfect option for those on the go who try to efficiently use any idling moment they might have to buy whatever they need. In this case, mobile ads could influence the decision and mobility by making it possible anytime and anywhere,” he said.

“The most effective campaigns are multichannel based and, in my opinion, mobile is not an equal opportunity member of the mix. I do expect this to change as we learn of effectiveness of this channel. The more we align mobile advertising efforts with the mobile channels customers are used to interacting with on their mobile devices, the more effective advertising campaigns will become.”

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

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