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H&M bridges social media and mobile with location-based campaign

H&M is putting mobile advertising at the forefront of a social media-fueled campaign that ultimately aims to drive in-store traffic.

The campaign is being used in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles and runs through Aug. 31. The mobile ads are running inside the Associated Press mobile site.

?It?s about knowing where customers are located in relation to the store, and timing messages and offers to them based on proximity to a store?s location,? said Rip Gerber, CEO of Locaid Technologies, San Francisco.

?The strategy is all about connecting the physical world with the digital world ? the bricks with the clicks, if you will,? he said. ?After physical store locations and Web, mobile is the most important sales channel for retailers right now.?

?Retailers have had huge successes in sweepstakes, and scavenger hunts add an element of location and search to sweepstakes. Sweepstakes are now being utilized in social media quite aggressively, and so long as the goal is not a pure product sales push, scavenger hunts in particular are fun and engaging.?

Mr. Gerber is not affiliated with H&M. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

H&M did not respond to press inquiries.

Snap to win
H&M is using social media and mobile as part of a multichannel rollout of a new ad campaign with David Beckham.

Statues of David Beckham have been placed around New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Consumers who snap a picture of the statue using the Instagram mobile application with the hashtag #HMBeckham are entered to win a $1,000 H&M gift card and other prizes.

The mobile ads direct to a mobile microsite for the campaign that lets users view where the statues are on a map in their city as well as browse through pictures that are tagged from Instagram. Users can ?Like,? tweet or pin the images directly from the site as well.

Besides Instagram, users can also follow H&M?s Twitter page or sign up for the brand?s email newsletter for a chance at winning.

Promoting a social-media heavy campaign with mobile advertising is a smart move for H&M because it lets users automatically take an action.

Additionally, mobile traffic to social media sites continues to surge. Facebook recently reported that it had 543 million mobile monthly users by the end of June (see story).

The mobile site pulls in Instagram

Mobile past
H&M is no stranger to running similar mobile ads around time-specific promotions.

Most recently, the retailer used mobile ads inside the Pandora iPhone app to boost in-store sales around new products (see story).

In 2010, H&M worked with GoldRun on a location-based initiative that used augmented reality to let users virtually try on products from store windows in exchange for a 10 percent discount that could be redeemed in-store (see story).

The company does not have a commerce-enabled mobile site, making driving foot traffic the primary goal behind all of H&M?s initiatives.

By encouraging users to find the statues in their cities, some of which are placed inside stores in New York, H&M is able to build hype around a campaign that ultimately gets consumers to shop.

 ?In the next phase, you?ll see a tighter integration between the social, mobile and location elements of a brand to provide a more enriching experience for the consumer,? Mr. Gerber said.

?This will happen through experimentation and building out integrated programs on a block-by-block strategy, versus a sweeping change to how retailers allocate their marketing budgets," he said. "You?ll also see measurement done along the way to measure campaign ROI and effectiveness.?

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