A long-term practice in direct mail was to compel respondents to complete some simple exercise as a way to further solidify their emotional investment, short of sending cash with order. For example, Time-Life Books and Prentice Hall asked respondents to initial order cards. And who could forget the punching out and affixing of product stamps to join Book-of-the-Month's and Columbia House's book/music clubs, or to purchase magazine subscriptions from Publishers Clearing House and American Family Publishers? (Hey, we can remind kids how tough we once had it; not only did we have to walk our orders to the mailbox, but we had to lick and stick the postage stamps, too!)
While paging through a magazine on the plane back from DMA08, I got a whiff of this old-school technique from an ad for the Harajuku Lovers line of perfumes, created for Coty by pop star Gwen Stefani and inspired by her stylized backup singers/dancers of the same name. A snippet of copy in the upper right-hand corner asked readers to take a picture of the ad with their mobile phones and send it to the e-mail address provided. In return, they would be rewarded with a free ringtone (a sample of Stefani's "Harajuku Lovers" from her 2004 "Love.Angel.Music.Baby." album), free fragrance sample and other unnamed features.
Coty worked with Los Angeles-based SnapNow, a mobile marketing solutions firm that translates images into links to connect respondents to specific Web promotion pages. In this case, I was sent a URL for a landing page where I could download the ringtone, sign up to receive the sample (in addition to name/address, I was asked for my e-mail address, gender and date of birth) and play a game to find out which Harajuku Lovers girls I was most like (I'm Lil Angel, in case you were curious).
Interacting with any of these three options drove me to the main site for the fragrance line, where consumers may upload karaoke videos of themselves performing the "Harajuku Lovers" song (I took a pass; we're all better off, trust me), learn more about the four different scents and their corresponding personalities, check out TV spots, etc.
With this campaign, a single magazine ad can mushroom into a much larger brand experience for consumers, plus a dash of lead-generation for Coty—and maybe Stefani, who also sells clothing and accessories through her Harajuku Lovers and L.A.M.B. fashion lines. Talk about multichannel, integrated, interactive marketing ... or whatever we're calling this multidimensional approach to marketing these days.
All I can say is: Oh, snap!