New way to use beacons: Passing on lifestyle tips
All from London's top influencers, via sponsored push notifications
October 24, 2016
Beacons that communicate with the smartphones of passersby have long held promise for advertisers.
But those beacons aren’t just for distributing coupons. Smartwater recently relied on beacons to engage people with interesting content rather than great deals.
It utilized beacon technology at billboards in various hotspots around London to send push notifications to people within 500 meters of a Smartwater ad.
All the notifications were marked as being sponsored by Smartwarter. All tied into a theme associated with the water brand.
Those within range of the ads in Chelsea and Hoxton received notices from London-area influencers, including lifestyle blogger Reem Kanj and stylist Roxie Nafousi.
An example of one message: “Click here for the Top 5 ‘distilled’ things to do in Hoxton.
By Reem Kanj on behalf of GLACÉAU smartwater #lifedistilled.”
What was promoted
Glacéau’s Smartwater brand of bottled water.
Why this stunt
The idea was to target Londoners with interesting information, delivering it in a surprising way.
The idea came out of a brainstorming session led by Oliver Seares, business director at Smartwater’s media planning agency MediaCom. Mobile proximity marketing company Proxama and Kinetic UK handled the beacon portion of the campaign.
“Smartwater is brand that likes to constantly test and try out new opportunities,” Lucy Cutter, business director at Kinetic UK, tells Media Life. “After a summer of activity, we thought it would be an innovative way to help Londoners get to know some of the gems on their doorsteps.”
The stunt was part of a larger overall “Life Distilled” campaign that included point-of-sale, OOH signage and digital ads.
The beacon stunt rolled out on Sept. 12 and ran throughout the rest of the month.
How it worked
Like most OOH campaigns with beacon elements, this one had an “opt-in” component. The messages weren’t sent to every passerby, just those with either the Crowdit or Mapway Bus apps installed on their smartphones and push notifications enabled.
To select locations, Kinetic used a proprietary research system to identify advertising panels that performed well in previous campaigns. The company combined that with high-traffic mapping data identified by Smartwater.
The end result was locations in Hoxton and Chelsea. While the campaign used the beacon technology to identify target audiences within range, it did not collect any data on passersby.
Why it worked
The campaign showcased one of the strengths of OOH–combining technology and location to target the desired audience.
The Crowdit app features information on things to do in various parts of town, including hot bars and restaurants, while the Mapway Bus app is used by commuters. By sending the push notifications through these to apps in trendy parts of London, Smartwater was able to interact with a particularly tech-savvy and stylish crowd of Londoners.
How it was received
The campaign was picked up by a number of advertising blogs and websites.
It was also featured on a handful of technology sites showcasing examples of how to use beacons in OOH.
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