How did the idea of the Physical Cookie come about – what was the original brief from Sponda?
Sponda wanted to position themselves as innovative property investors, a bold statement that simply couldn't be achieved with old-fashioned push marketing. A brand needs to act and innovate to reach that position. Sponda's mission is to constantly look for new tools that improve its clients' business. TBWA\Helsinki developed the idea pro-actively for Sponda. There was no brief, just a target position.
How did the shopping mall, CityCenter, benefit from the program?
Real time data helps you understand your customers' shopping behavior better. It enables smarter and more relevant marketing inside the shopping mall by using own media channels. This is a disruptive loyalty program for a shopping mall; instead of identifying the loyal customer at the end of the shopping process (purchase), the system identifies loyal customers upon entering the shopping mall. As a result, the shopping experience becomes more fulfilling for the customer.
Did you choose the participating customers, or were the cookies handed out randomly?
All the keychains were handed out randomly, just like online cookies. We kept the cost low, so they could be handed out to everyone visiting the mall. Cost per cookie was only 0,17 cents.
How did the partnership with the shopping center stores work?
All of the stores in CityCenter had the opportunity to join the program. We created a personalized and smart in-store media to drive foot-flow and sales by delivering tailored, real-time messages for each of the stores. As Citycenter's clients, the stores have been very interested in the real-time data the system can provide them.
What did consumers say about the experience? How did you reassure those who found the idea of personalized ads intrusive?
The consumers enjoyed the Physical Cookie experience. Since we don't need personal information (such as name, gender, address, occupation), it is a marketing-as-a-service type of experience. The system learns from the behavioral data. So, instead of annoying push notifications, our shopping environment reacts to the shopper, offering more relevant messages and personalized offers.