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Cold Stone Creamery targets families with mobile in-store push

Cold Stone Creamery ran a mobile coupon program during the holidays to get consumers in-store and ultimately drive sales.

Cox Media cable network ran television commercials asking viewers to text CREAM to short code 269411 to get special offers and discounts from Cold Stone. The ice-cream chain tapped Ping Mobile to power the campaign.

"The strategy for this client's campaign was to enable the measurement of responses to a spot, track redemption and utilize a new medium which had never been used by the brand to promote their products before," said Shira Simmonds, president of Ping Mobile, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

Viewers that texted in recieved a message that said, "Show this msg @Cold Stone Creamery & get a FREE Love-It 'Create Your Own' when buy 1! Use Code: PLU#17. locations. Hurry, expires 1/31/09!"

Also, participants were sent a message with an option to opt-in for future promotions. It said, "Reply YES 2 get more Xclusives from Cold Stone Creamery+Cox! Mx4msgs/mo. std txt rts aply. Reply YES Now!"

"The challenge for Cold Stone was that they had never used mobile before," Ms. Simmonds said. "In addition to that, they were trying out a new medium during the Winter season -- a time when their product is a non-seasonal item and therefore, harder to sell."

Cold Stone's target demographic for the promotion was families. Mobile allowed Cold Stone to reach out to people of all ages.

The mobile coupon component of this campaign was something that would be appealing to everyone since people always want something for free, especially "green-minded" individuals who could take advantage of the paperless coupon.

Additionally, it gave people an opportunity to get something for free during the holiday season.

This isn't the first time that Ping Mobile has powered a text campaign.

Cox Media and the Pensacola Interstate fair used mobile to inform their target audience of all the promotions and discounts available at the event.

Ping Mobile powered the mobile campaign, which encouraged consumers to text the keyword FAIR to the short code 29411 to get special offers and promotions (see story).

"When marketing to consumers in California, one is typically engaging 'Green-minded' and 'tech-savvy' individuals," said Isaac Naor, Ping Mobile client services manager. "As such, it is critical for brands to align themselves with an environmentally friendly image, while simultaneously providing the convenience offered by the mobile channel."