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Retail giant H&M runs multifaceted mobile marketing campaign

Swedish clothing company H&M launched a mobile marketing campaign on its home turf to promote its latest collection.

The campaign includes SMS coupons, mobile banner ads placed on major carrier portals and media sites including Tele2, Telenor and TV4, and a mobile site with click-through slideshows and animated GIF images of the retailer's latest garments. For the campaign, H&M tapped mobile marketing agency Mobiento and its sister company Adiento, an ad network, which use mobile ad network MADS' technology platform.

"We see that the advertising industry is highly localized," said Ashu Mathura, founder/CEO of MADS, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. "Brands set budgets per region, which are then allocated per country and then spend by the local country organization within the local media channels.

"Often local agencies provide adaption of global campaigns, or new local campaigns are created," he said. "What we offer are campaigns that span multiple countries, multiple languages, multiple cultures and sometimes not even the same brand name.

"Dealing with this landscape and converging is a big challenge for all players."

While H&M's latest mobile marketing campaign was limited to Sweden, Mobiento's reach extends to 27 countries.

Brands such as British Airways and automaker Mini, known for its Mini Cooper, have tapped Mobiento for similar mobile campaigns.

Hennes & Mauritz AB, operating as H&M, is a Swedish clothing company known for its "fast fashion" clothes and apparel for women, men, teenagers and children.

H&M has more than 1,600 stores in 34 different countries, including the U.S.

H&M launched its first mobile banner campaign in 2006, becoming one of the first major brands to do serious mobile marketing. The retailer has continued to use the mobile channel ever since.

The goals of H&M's mobile campaigns are to illustrate and promote its latest seasonal collection of apparel and to drive membership in the H&M Club, a loyalty rewards program.

The banner ads redirect consumers to H&M's mobile site at http://hm.mobiento.se.

Consumers can sign up by entering their mobile number on the site to get SMS alerts and mobile coupons with special offers driving them into physical retail locations.

For example, a text message might read "Show this coupon in store to get 20 percent off your purchase." These offers are available only for a limited time, usually for 3 or 4 hours after the consumer receives the message.

Consumers can also enter competitions to win H&M gift cards.

One competition lets consumers pick their favorite H&M outfit. They have to say why they want to win it, giving the campaign an interactive component.

The mobile campaign was designed to enhance its viral effects by letting consumers send links with information and images of specific pieces of clothing to friends and family.

The mobile site lets consumers find specific clothes that they like.

The primary target group for H&M's latest mobile campaign is women ages 20 to 40, which fits with the retailer's general demographic.

There is a separate portal for men, as well. Consumers choose their gender when they enter the mobile site so they are able to browse the appropriate collection of apparel.

"Ad agency Mobiento has a good number of customers in Scandinavia, and they use our platform, on behalf of their clients such as Adidas and H&M, to log in to get real-time reports on a campaign's performance," Mr. Mathura said.

"Customers have ad decks, so the campaign is placed on their site," he said. "Our platform powers a whole ecosystem around it."

Helping brands target Europeans
MADS is a provider of technology that delivers targeted mobile advertising campaigns.

More than 150 of Europe's largest new media publishing houses, including Gazzetta dello Sport (Italy), Telegraaf Media Group (Netherlands), TV4 (Sweden) and Aftenposten (Norway), are now using the MADS mobile advertising platform to ad-enable their mobile sites and monetize their traffic.

MADS claims that it gives advertisers and brands the ability to reach more than 60 million European mobile consumers by using a single international campaign order in the MADS campaign manager.

The MADS mobile advertising network offers inventory that lets advertisers target consumers who visit the sites and pages of publishers across 16 European countries.

These are Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy, Hungary, Romania, Greece, Turkey, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, Poland, Belgium and Britain.

MADS' technology enables publishers, carriers and advertisers to deploy personalized display or text ad campaigns across multiple mobile channels with more than 15 different demographic targeting variables.
These targeting variables include gender, country, city, ZIP code, region, birthday/age, language, consumer group, customer type, subscription type, subscriber status, phone brand, phone type and MMS-activated handsets.

While most publisher sites in MADS' network only offer banner, click-to-call and click-to-mobile-site ads, some have already started offering SMS ads.

"We expect a big growth in those who offer SMS as a further advertising channel in 2009," Mr. Mathura said.

Cross-channel campaigns integrating mobile calls-to-action into print, TV and billboard/poster advertising are on the rise, although most are focused on consumers from a single nation.

"We see those already, primarily within one country, because of difficulties with short codes, etcetera," Mr. Mathura said. "What we see are campaigns with short codes on billboards, send an SMS and receive a WAP push link with a microsite about the product -- same with TV ads.

"We also see mobile banners [linked to] campaign sites," he said. "For example, [for our automotive clients], fourteen days after the user visits the campaign site we send them an SMS for a test drive at the nearest dealer location.

MADS claims that its platform delivers higher CTR and up to 10 times the ROI compared to traditional online advertising.

MADS has strategic partnerships with more than 100 publishers and carriers.

In addition to H&M, Adidas, Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot, Mini, British Airways, Nivea, EA Games, Coca-Cola, M&Ms, Sony Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung and MasterCard are among the global brands currently using MADS technology to reach mobile consumers.

"We've conducted several mobile advertising campaigns with Adiento and MADS this year with tremendous results," said Cecilia Juhlin, Nordic digital marketing manager at Adidas Sweden, in a written statement. "Mobile advertising is an innovative and exciting new channel that fits well with our target communication group.

"Mobile is a great complement to other media and we're able to achieve a high level of engagement around our brand," she said.

MADS' suite of products includes MADS for Operators, to create, manage and monetize mobile inventory; MADS for Agencies, to plan, book and optimize campaigns; and MADS for Advertisers, to track real-time campaign performance analytics and reports.

MADS' goal is to unlock advertising opportunities for brands and create new revenue streams for carriers and publishers across all mobile channels, including the mobile Internet, SMS push/insert, MMS push/insert, mobile video, mobile games and applications, idle screen and ring-back tones.

MADS is currently processing more than 300 million ad requests per month and is the mobile advertising platform for more than 100 operators and publishers across 15 countries.

MADS ad-enabled carriers include Vodafone Romania, Vodafone Hungary, Vodafone New Zealand and KPN Netherlands.

As for ad agencies, in addition to Mobiento, the HyperFactory uses the MADS platform.

"We're a closed platform, and we want to be the DoubleClick of mobile," Mr. Mathura said. "There are a number of specific media agencies and ad agencies that work with publishers and carriers to sell their inventory to advertisers.

"We're now seeing the first examples of mobile campaigns that span multiple countries," he said. "We support targeting based on the country and language settings of handsets, so clients can upload banners in different languages and push to microsites in the local language.

"We are contacted quite often because we have a good footprint -- we get lots of requests from publishers to use our platform."