Wireless Marketing Strategy

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Date: Monday, February 1st, 1999, 00:00
Category: Archive

Adweek Online explains a new wireless marketing strategy, which enables interested customers to receive store information and promotions via beam. If you see a flashing red light embedded in Banana Republic poster you can download the extra advertising to your Palm OS-powered PDA.

Banana Republic, along with outdoor media company TDI Worldwide, has launched a holiday wireless marketing strategy involving 100 ads on Manhattan phone kiosks in high-traffic areas.

The ads contain embedded wireless devices that let pedestrians download information to their hand-held’s about Banana Republic store locations, promotions, gift ideas and other offerings. The enabling technology comes from Streetbeam, a New York-based wireless technology company that makes and markets the short-distance wireless device to out-of-home media displays and currently has an exclusive licensing partnership with TDI.

StreetBeam president Jan Renner explained that pedestrians passing a Banana Republic ad see a blinking red light on its margin, with a diagram of two Palm Pilots beaming each other. “Point your Palm at it, and within a few seconds you see a file that you can choose to accept or not.”

“We are the first retailer to use this new technology,” says Kim Sobel, senior manager of communications for Banana Republic. She said Banana Republic has no plans to continue using StreetBeam beyond December. “We thought it would be a great way to interact with customers and provide a convenient shopping experience for people.”

The Banana Republic campaign is StreetBeam’s first, after beta testing of the device earlier this year. “Actually, the whole concept was developed in conjunction with TDI,” Renner said, adding that TDI Worldwide is Streetbeam’s exclusive partner. TDI and StreetBeam will soon expand the presence of the device in Manhattan.”In March we will also be on static ads in San Francisco, Boston and Washington.” He explains that, although the current campaign includes 100 ads, “it’s not a limited test or a beta.”

Jodi Yegelwel-Senese, executive vice president, marketing at TDI, says that in addition to the phone kiosks, the company plans to expand Streetbeam to bus shelters and rail displays both in the U.S. and European markets.

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