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Victoria’s Secret links digital, real-world scavenger hunt via image recognition

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February 11, 2014

Victoria's Secret leverages image recognition with photo-sharing

Victoria’s Secret continues to lead the pack in retailers leveraging mobile applications for more than just shopping with a new spring break campaign that layers image recognition and games on top of commerce features.

The lingerie retailer has launched a new campaign within its iPhone and Android app in the weeks before spring break to drive sales as well as engagement through games and activities. Victoria’s Secret’s new effort pulls together several of the elements that the brand has been steadily building into its app over the past year.

“In-app campaigns are one of the most meaningful ways that an app can keep users returning, especially for fashion brands,” said Mark Ghermezian, CEO of Appboy, New York.

“The deals drive it,” he said. “I’ve seen Valentine’s Day campaigns in apps that have 35 percent click-through rates for retailers. That speaks for itself.”

Mr. Ghermezian is not affiliated with Victoria’s Secret. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Victoria’s Secret did not respond to press inquiries.

Marrying up multiple initiatives

Each of Victoria’s Secret’s mobile initiatives builds on past efforts, which is evidenced in its newest spring break campaign.

Last year, the retailer rolled out a mobile photo-sharing contest that ran over the course of four weeks and encouraged consumers to snap pictures that spelled out the word “pink” (see story).

This year, Victoria’s Secret has added several new mobile elements with another four-week spring break-themed campaign.

Each week, users are challenged to find and scan a specific Victoria Secret picture with the app. The images are found on Victoria’s Secret’s Web site, in-store and on college campuses.

For example, the first week challenge runs through Feb. 15 and encourages consumers to find a model posing next to the letter “P.”

When consumers find the picture and scan it with the app, a landing page that promotes spring break loungewear is pulled up that can be shopped from. Additionally, consumers can listen to a playlist on 8tracks via the app.


The first spring break-themed challenge

Three additional in-app challenges will become available each week through March 8.

Additionally, the first 100 consumers to find and scan the item each week receive a freebie.

Victoria’s Secret rolled out the image recognition feature in October as part of a holiday initiative to mobilize print catalogs (see story).

Besides the photo campaign, the app also includes seasonal photo filters and decals that consumers can use to customize spring break photos. A weather forecast feature is also incorporated into the app to help spring breakers plan their trip.

The retailer sent out SMS and email blasts to promote the new spring break initiative. The campaign is also promoted on Victoria’s Secret’s Web site.


The email blast

Ongoing engagement
Victoria’s Secret continues to be one of the few retailers that continually leverages its mobile app to drive repeat traffic from seasonal campaigns with content geared towards its core demographic.

Past in-app seasonal campaigns include back-to-school and college football campaigns.

What is unique about Victoria’s Secret’s campaigns is that the brand adds a new mobile element to each campaign.

In this case, the brand is pulling together several of its app features that steadily have been rolled out over the past year for a more comprehensive campaign.

By asking consumers to hunt and find the pictures that correlate to the sweepstakes across different pieces of media, the campaign shows the growing push behind Victoria’s Secret to leverage mobile as part of multichannel campaigns.

“Brands embrace technology when it works,” said Brennan Hayden, vice president of mobile at [x+1], New York.

Mr. Hayden is not affiliated with Victoria’s Secret. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

“The frequency of their use of the app media is very telling,” he said. “I think it means app media works – it’s that simple.”

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

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