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Tod's targets loyalists with logo driven mobile ad

Italian leather goods company Tod?s is targeting culturally-minded affluent readers of Condé Nast?s W magazine with a banner advertisement on the publication?s mobile Web site.

Tod?s mobile ad features no images, and instead relies on the brand name to generate interest and click-throughs.  This is a tactic that will attract brand loyalists, but will likely not be clicked on by consumers unfamiliar with the label.

"Mobile banner ads are small," said Shuli Lowy, marketing director of Ping Mobile, New York. "Brands are therefore forced to prioritize the most important elements of their ad because it is difficult to fit a brand name, an image, and a call to action in uncluttered manner in a digital square the size of your thumb.

"For luxury marketers, whose campaigns are largely focused on engagement, the brand logo is usually the most important element," she said. "The majority of users who come across an ad don?t click on it, so the brand logo  will serve as the key branding consumption.

"Many luxury marketers will skip the call to action entirely and just focus their mobile ad campaigns on the branding of their logo."

Ms. Lowy is not affiliated with Tod's but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Tod's did not respond before press deadline.

Click for pics
Tod?s ad ran on the home page of W?s mobile Web site in the banner position. The ad is primarily white, which contrasts with the Web site?s black background.

On the left side of the ad is the brand logo in black, which shows the word Tod?s surrounded by an oval with filigree detailing. To the right is a call to action telling consumers ?spring summer 2014 shop

The click-through takes consumers to the brand?s home page rather than sending them to a product page directly. At the top of the page is a tile featuring large campaign images for the label?s spring collections, which toggles back and forth between men?s and women?s.

Clicking on these images takes consumers to catalogs for the collections. For ecommerce enabled browsing, consumers have to go through the navigation bar at the top of the page.

Further down the page are links to view information about the brand?s J.P. Tod?s sartorial collection, which enables consumers to customize items by picking the materials.

A video of the fall/winter runway show is also featured, along with tiles for consumers to explore the men?s fall/winter collection and the editorial projects that Tod?s has created. Included are a photo spread of jewelry designer Noor Fares at home, a dreamlike photo shoot capturing the brand?s saddle-inspired handbag with toy or imagined horses and the style profile the label did on model Andrea Brugnoni. 

There is also a tile focused on craftsmanship, which details the production of the brand?s merchandise in Italy. A photo slideshow depicts both the office space for the brand and items being handmade.

At the bottom of the home page are tiles dedicated to a single product from the spring lines. Featured are the label?s Gommimo loafers and D Cube bag for women and loafers and leather shopping bag for men.

"One thing about this ad that could have been improved upon was that the call to action didn?t correlate with the landing page," Ms. Lowy said. "Consumers were invited to shop, but instead of landing on an ecommerce page they were invited to engage and subsequently shop.

"When brands invite consumers to do something via a call to action, the landing page should lead directly to what the consumer signed up for," she said.

Familiar approach
Other brands have placed largely white ads that relied on text to generate interest.

For instance, department store Bergdorf Goodman introducing consumers to its new range of offerings in its contemporary 5F department with an ad on the mobile Web site of New York magazine?s The Cut.

Reaching out to the publication?s audience of New Yorkers and beyond, the ad featured two calls to action, one to visit the store and one to visit the retailer?s Web site to shop online. Since consumers reading the mobile Web page are likely to be on their phones in transit, Bergdorf may see an increase in foot traffic from this ad (see story).

Also, French atelier Saint Laurent Paris targeted fashionable readers of New York magazine?s The Cut to promote its Sac de Jour handbag collection.

A product-driven advertisement strategy may generate click-throughs, but without enticing imagery the reader may continue on to the mobile site?s content. In Saint Laurent?s case, the brand relied heavily on its notoriety by choosing to display only its logo at the top of The Cut?s page and a smaller box ad embedded within the content where an image was included (see story).

Tod's landing page reflects the way that luxury consumers typically interact with brands via their mobile devices.

"Luxury marketers understand that consumers use mobile primarily to perform brand discovery and develop product interest," Ms. Lowy said. "Luxury items entail larger purchases that are less likely to be completed on a mobile device.

"Tod?s strategy to send consumers to an engaging home page instead of an ecommerce site is reflective of the activity luxury consumers engage while on mobile. Throughout the site consumers are invited to shop, but the call to action is not overwhelming.

"The general rule of thumb is that brands that want to solicit a certain action send consumers on the shortest possible route to complete it. Every added page or step will give browsers an opportunity to exit out. Accordingly, companies that are focused only on driving sales from an ad campaign will send consumers directly to an ecommerce page.

"Most luxury brands, however, understand that mobile?s strength is in discovery and engagement and will therefore choose to send consumers to a page that allows them to build interest in a product before soliciting a purchase. While this structure may include fewer immediate sale conversions, it will include a larger long-term benefit for the brand."

Final Take
Sarah Jones, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York