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

Starbucks pushes Frappuccino drink in MTV on-air SMS call to action

The program was powered by SinglePoint. Hundreds of thousands of consumers texted-in to vote and were therefore exposed to the Starbucks ad.

“Consumers were added to the MTV database, which has an arrangement with Starbucks,” said Gowri Shankar, CEO of SinglePoint.

“Both MTV the brand and Starbucks, for different purposes, now have a one-to-one dialogue with consumers,” he said.

Consumers were asked to text the keyword VOTE to the short code 66333. 

Here is a video of the MTV Movie Awards where rapper T.I. announces the SMS call to action:

The ad unit within the MTV text message was a thank you by Starbucks.

“MTV was drawing the viewers into the conversation and Starbucks is joining in and both are able to continue this dialogue today, tomorrow,” Mr. Shankar said.

“We have found in the SMS marketing space that there’s a whole new category in marketing that we’re calling conversational advertising,” he said. “The reach of SMS is well documented and everyone understands it.

“Now brands are establishing a dialogue with subscribers to lead them on with rich experiences.”

Conversational advertising is a market that is expected to grow from $47.8 million in 2010 to $2.04 billion in 2015 in the United States, according to a MobileSquared report issued by SinglePoint.

The report defines conversational advertising as the agreed messaging-based communication between the consumer and a brand to deliver consumer benefits.

The study revealed that 50 percent of Americans welcome conversational advertising, as was the case with the Starbucks/MTV promotion.

Instead of pushing unwanted advertisements to consumers, Starbucks lets them start the dialogue, if they truly wanted to. And Starbucks followed up with a message that was not the least bit intrusive.

Conversational advertising capitalizes on the opted-in database developed by the brand to establish an ongoing relationship with the consumer.

In doing so, the concept evolves beyond the traditional campaign ideology that has become the cornerstone in advertising.

For the Starbucks/MTV campaign – and any campaign in the digital age – engagement is critical.

Since consumers have been added to MTV’s mobile database, the company will maintain that relationship with occasional communication.

By generating this database, MTV has dramatically upped the likelihood of developing a response from a consumer.

There were three basic ad units in the Starbucks campaign with MTV, depending on the type of phone consumers were using.

One was a link leading to a Starbucks property. Consumers could also reply with a keyword to interact with Starbucks or click on a telephone number to make a call.

“All those three were available and subscribers are savvy enough to know what medium works best for them,” Mr. Shankar said.

Final thought
Mr. Shankar came to Mobile Commerce Daily’s offices in New York and senior editor Giselle Tsirulnik interviewed him on camera regarding the Starbucks promotion. Check out Mr. Shankar’s video: