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Saks highlights individual brands with set of mobile ads

Department store chain Saks Fifth Avenue is targeting affluent readers of the New York Times mobile Web site with a series of ads showing its range of brands and products.

Saks used this placement to showcase labels Gucci, Alexis Bittar and Giuseppe Zanotti, providing links to the specific product pages for the brand and type of merchandise featured in the ad. By featuring both its own logo and the brands’ iconography, Saks will be able to garner click-throughs from fans of both the retailer and the fashion labels.

“The Saks brand fits the New York Times demographic pre-mobile days and now,” said Jeff Hasen, Seattle-based chief marketing officer of Mobivity.

“By running ads for specific high-end brands, the paper is highlighting high-end merchandise that clearly has appeal and brings margin and more visits,” he said. “Tablets are especially appealing, given the time spent with them and the increasing amount of shopping done on the sofa or in bed.”

Mr. Hasen is not affiliated with Saks but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Saks was unable to comment directly before press deadline.

Brand spotlight Saks ran four different ads in the banner position of Times mobile Web site’s Style section. All of the ads included the Saks logo to the left in white or black, with a product image and brand logo to the right taking up most of the box.

New York Times mobile Web site

Two ads were for Gucci, with one for its shoes and handbags and one for its handbags and accessories. The apparel ad shows a campaign image from Gucci, making it almost an ad within another ad.

Saks ad on the New York Times

Saks’ Giuseppe Zanotti ad is specifically for its men’s shoes, and shows an image of a blue sneaker from the label.

Saks ad on the New York Times

This ties into the retailer’s new sneaker destination for men both online and in-store.

Saks reacted to the popularity of designer sneakers for men with a new curated installation in 16 of its stores.

Saks’ “Sneaks” includes a range of high-fashion footwear, including athletic sneakers, high tops and slip-ons with exclusive designs from brands such as Fendi and Jimmy Choo. These unique offerings appeal to sneaker enthusiasts and collectors, and allow Saks to draw in male consumers (see story).

The fourth ad is for Alexis Bittar jewelry, and shows a pair of earrings.

Saks ad on the New York Times

All of the click-throughs send consumers to the exact product page for the brand and type of products. From there consumers can shop more products in that category or shop the entire Saks Web site.

Saks ad on the New York Times

Mobile store Saks has previously used mobile advertising to get consumers on-the-go into its stores.

The department store chain lured consumers into its stores through a banner advertisement on the Weather Channel’s mobile application.

A click-through on the ad lead to a store locator so that consumers could find the closest Saks location to them. Saks was likely trying to reach consumers who were nearby its stores, but having the ad on a weather app may not have been the best place to target its customers (see story).

British ecommerce retailer Net-A-Porter is targeting consumers looking for both work and play attire with a pair of advertisements on New York magazine’s The Cut blog.

One ad is for strong attire and the other features swimwear brand Eres, which the retailer just began selling. Both ads use multiple moving states to better get readers’ attention as they are flipping through content (see story).

As consumers shift their news reading to mobile devices, particularly tablets, brands that previously used print media to reach their target can now reach the same consumers in a digital medium.

“I once tweeted about still getting the newspaper delivered on my driveway and paying by check,” Mr. Hasen said. “Someone responded, ‘What’s a check?’

“The same can be said for printed newspaper editions,” he said. “While some still look to get newsprint on their hands while having coffee in the morning, many others turn to mobile phones and tablets for news, especially since it is freshened through the day.”

Final Take Sarah Jones, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York