Mobile Commerce Daily is now Retail Dive: Mobile Commerce! Click here to learn more!

Ace Hardware bolsters in-store traffic via mobile video initiative

Ace Hardware is relying on mobile video as a vessel to drive in-store summer sales as part of a multichannel campaign.

The video ads are part of Ace’s “get back your weekend” campaign that encourages users to get active with home improvement projects. The Ace Hardware mobile video ads are appearing in the CBS News iPhone application.

“The penetration of mobile devices is at nearly 45 – 50 percent of the United States population and continues to grow,” said Nikao Yang, senior vice president of marketing and sales at AdColony, Los Angeles.

“So nearly all brands with business-to-consumer goals can develop and execute on mobile plans to effectively and efficiently reach their target customer,” he said.

“Mobile video is the best way to drive home the point with sight, sound and motion about that new outdoor BBQ, lawn care product or ceiling fan. Consumers today are engaged on mobile devices and mobile video is the best way for brands to deliver their message to reach them.”

Mr. Yang is not associated with Ace Hardware. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Ace Hardware did not respond to press inquiries.

Mobile improvement
The mobile videos are running between pages of content inside the news app.

In order to move on to the next page of content, users have to tap a button but are encouraged to learn more about Ace Hardware.

In the video, a man is featured explaining to his neighbors that Ace can be a one-spot stop for all of their home improvement needs.

During the video, users can tap to be directed to an in-app landing page of the company’s mobile site.

Users can then either find a nearby store or can browse local ads.

The landing pages use location to show users the nearest Ace Hardware locations, contact information and directions for particular locations. Additionally, consumers can view local deals on products that can be found in-store.

Large buttons to the company’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages are placed at the bottom of the page.

Ace Hardware does not have a commerce-enabled site, meaning that the main goal behind the campaign is to drive users to nearby local stores.

Even without a mobile commerce site, Ace Hardware still proves that it has a strong strategy by using campaigns that make sense for the company.

For instance, the company recently ran a campaign with The Weather Channel that claimed to generate a purchase intent 2.5 times the industry average.

Weather Channel execs also said that 61 percent of consumers who saw the campaign said that they would be interested in buying something from the company (see story).

Video intent
Given the immersive nature of mobile video, the tactic can be an effective way for brands to not only drive brand awareness but also an attached ROI.

For instance, Marriott’s Fairfield Inn & Suites recently used mobile video banner ads that encouraged users to book a hotel room (see story).

Brands are also using mobile video as a way to easily restructure and format their existing video and TV clips for mobile.

However, based on consumers’ shorter attention spans, mobile video requires that content be shorter and snappier.

While consumers might be willing to watch a longer video clip on desktops, video length has to be cut down for the mobile screen.

“Some brands are taking the same 30-second spot from TV and running it on mobile. However, we recommend running 15-second spots since the mobile user’s time is precious and 30 seconds can be an eternity,” Mr. Yang said.

“To this end, we’re seeing savvier brands build out their 30-second TV spots with 15-second mobile video spots in mind,” he said.

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