Monday, November 15, 2010

Text 313131 SWISS


Swiss Chalet recently launched a mobile coupon promotion. I noticed it advertised on the back of a bus here in Calgary. The headline at the top of the ad proudly pronounced:

Text 313131 SWISS

Huh?

Being rather involved in mobile, I gathered that the coupon could be had by texting 'SWISS' to 313131. But not everybody is going to know this.

It's great that mobile is being tried out by a franchise like Swiss Chalet, and that they are using text-message coupons as an entry point to reach the consumer. But seriously, what were they thinking putting that as the headline?

It's a real shame, because some significant money was probably spent setting up the campaign and even more so promoting this across the country. Some corporate executive, at the end of the campaign, is going to look at the results and conclude that mobile couponing is not effective.

It's a great example of how mobile activities need to be properly supported by other media. And the failure of that media will ensure the failure of the mobile activity.

Another problem: after I sent the keyword to the short code, I got the coupon back from them. Great, now I can go redeem the coupon at Swiss Chalet. But they neglected to ask me permission to send me further coupons, specials and notices. Another waste. The entire point of mobile is to develop two-way, interactive relationships with your consumer via their most-used electronic device.

I didn't have a camera with me, but I'm going to take one with me wherever I go for the rest of the week and try to find a bus with the ad. However, if you see it and send me a photo, I'll be sure to post it up here with proper photo credit.

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