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Schick doles out product samples via SMS

Personal skincare line Schick is loading its print pages with mobile calls-to-action to drive product samples.

The print ads are appearing in the May issue of Marie Claire magazine. The campaign is part of Schick?s bigger multichannel marketing initiative called ?razorvention."

"SMS is a familiar communication method for our target consumer, so it?s an easy way for her to interact with the Hydro Silk brand," said Camilla Medeiros, senior brand manager at Schick Hydro Silk, Shelton, CT.

"The entire experience ? from the first SMS message to when the free sample order is submitted ? is seamless and takes only a few minutes," she said. "SMS is a great tool to help make this possible.

"When reading a magazine that includes Hydro Silk advertisements, our target consumers are in a mindset focusing on beauty and fashion.  In this mindset they will be more receptive to a Hydro Silk advertisement and more likely to engage with it.  The mobile call-to-action provides a user-friendly experience for magazine readers, who may not be in front of a computer, but likely have a mobile device within arm?s reach."

Mobile trial
The print ads feature a mobile call-to-action in the bottom left-hand corner of the page that reads, ?Done with dry skin? Get a razorvention.?

Consumers are encouraged to text the keyword SCHICK to the short code 24444 to receive a free Schick sample.

Once consumers send in the short code, they are sent a message with a link to a mobile microsite. 

From there, consumers can fill out a form with their name, email and address to receive their free sample.

Users are also encouraged to opt-in to emails from Schick and ?Like? the brand?s Facebook page to stay up to date on future promotions from Schick, which are both great ways for Schick to build longer-term relationships with consumers.

The Schick Hydro Silk line includes reusable and disposable razors that retail from $5 to $10.

Mobile-enabled pages
Schick is not the only razor brand leveraging print as part of a bigger marketing campaign.

Earlier this year, Gillette printed QR codes on its magazine ads to help introduce new shave gels and razors (see story).

As consumers continue to read magazines with their mobile devices in-hand, savvy marketers are increasingly promoting mobile initiatives in pages.

In this case, SMS helps Schick create an ongoing dialogue with consumers.

Additionally, SMS helps the company reach as many mobile users as possible, which is critical for a consumer-packaged-goods brand that has mass appeal.

"SMS and QR codes along with social engagements and traditional media are just ways to reach consumers, each of these have a value in a 360-degree strategy in mobile,"  said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis, Atlanta.

Ms. Troutman is not affiliated with Schick. She commented based on her expertise on the subject.

"Consumer-packaged goods should always test, test, test, fail, fail, fail in order to get to the combination that is a win-win in their digital, and traditional strategies of reaching consumers," she said.

"SMS is a strong outlet and as long as there is a solid strategy behind the link that is placed in the SMS text this engagement can be extremely powerful in gaining traction for new products and trials."

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York