Paris Hilton is using her line of hair and beauty products to reach out and touch someone. While the campaign aims to create long-term bonds between consumers and the notoriously commitment-phobic heiress, it also creates the means to generate leads for future promotions.
Texting the letters "PH" to a short code, 72747, featured on the packaging of the products, returns back a link to the mobile Web site. There, fans can sign up to receive tips and information on products and services, along with coupons and upcoming special offers.
Velti, a mobile marketing and advertising firm, supports the campaign, along with HairTech International, an Irvine, Calif.-based company specializing in hair care and personal products launched by Hollywood stars.
The campaign targets young urbanites, a demographic that spends many hours daily on their mobile phone texting, talking and playing games. Brian Cowley, general manager of Velti in North America, says it's unusual to find consumer package goods (CPG) companies putting short codes on products.
Darryl Cohen, HairTech president, says the campaign also includes television and other online media. "We think marketing should begin with mobile and everything else should follow," he says. "Although we only have the text code in the U.S. today, we have the option to duplicate the campaign around the world. It makes sense to have promotions without other Paris Hilton licensees to cross promote products."
The short codes let Velti measure the effectiveness of the campaign, tie the mobile number to specific products, and generate a lead for future promotions. A full set of reporting and measurement tools are built into the platform. It gives marketers the means to connect the campaign with the return on investment (ROI). "Paris will have the background information on who responds to her products," Cowley says. "This, to some degree, is seen as a pilot before she considers adding the code to some of her other products."
Cowley called short codes the new direct-response vehicle. He says there is an opportunity to expand Paris' campaign into her fragrance, jewelry, and clothing lines.
That direct response is something Google tapped through QR codes. Google recently sent out more than 100,000 two-dimensional (2D) barcode stickers to popular local businesses across the country that setup a Place Page, Google's local directory, on Google Maps. The barcode is also known as a QR code or a quick reference code.
The businesses Google chose are considered Favorite Places, selected on the number of searches made for that business on Google Maps. People who see the code in the store window can take out their mobile phone with a special barcode reader to get more data about the business, promotional information, or coupons. The reader can be downloaded from companies such as beeTagg, neoreader, QuickMark and Barcode Scanner.