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Kleenex unfurls SMS-based campaign to drive sales at Walmart

Kimberly-Clark’s Kleenex brand is ramping up sales in Walmart stores by asking consumers to snap a photo of their receipt, text it to a designated number and enjoy a $5 reward code for a digital movie platform.

The consumer packaged goods marketer is collaborating with Snipp Interactive to roll out the SMS-based campaign, which is catering to Kleenex’s customers’ interests by offering a reward that will resonate with the audience. Any individual purchasing a participating Kleenex product from a Walmart bricks-and-mortar store or site is eligible for the promotion, which runs through December 1.

“The fact is simple: consumers want to be engaged by all brands on their mobile devices,” said Camille Kennedy, senior director of marketing at Snipp Interactive. “In fact, up to 50 percent of consumers say that brands that don’t market to them on mobile are outdated or less desirable.

“And 90 percent of shoppers use their smartphones in-store, on the lookout for deals and offers,” she said. “Text-to-win campaigns with receipt processing are an ideal solution for brands looking for a mobile marketing channel: the programs are quick to market, cost effective, and consumers love engaging with them.

“Using receipts to validate purchase allows the brand to eliminate the need for cumbersome code-on-pack alternatives. Finally, being able to access the consumer’s receipt gives the brand access to invaluable data that simply cannot be harnessed with any other strategy.”

Relevant cross-partnerships
Walmart customers will spot stickers on Kleenex products communicating how to participate in the campaign. To receive the reward, individuals are asked to snap a photo of their receipt and text the keyword CAREPACKAGE to 811811.

The SnippCheck platform will then verify the purchase and send the user a $5 reward code on behalf of Kimberly-Clark, which they may redeem at

Walmart owns the Vudu movie-watching service, making it an ideal channel for Kleenex to tap. The partnership was strategically chosen, as both brands understand the correlation between preparing for winter illnesses by stocking up on tissues and simultaneously setting up good films to watch during sick days.

“We have found rewarding consumers with unique digital rewards, such as digital movies, is highly effective, especially if those movies are accessible online,” Ms. Kennedy said. “In fact, online viewing has exploded, with at least 4.5 movies watched online a month.

“Within the past year, for the first time ever, viewers watched more movies online than even sports,” she said. “Home viewing is clearly a key channel for movies: 73 percent of Americans 12 and up say they actively purchase movies for viewing in their comfort of their own homes.”

The collaboration could also result in more subscriptions for Vudu in the future, if consumers enjoy their movie-watching experience sponsored by Kleenex.

The right marketing vehicle
The ubiquity of smartphones makes it easier than ever for shoppers to pull out their device and participate in a promotion after spotting a call-to-action, such as a sticker visibly placed on a product they are intent on purchasing.

Consumers will also likely be prompted to follow that call-to-action if they know they will receive a guaranteed reward for doing so.

Kleenex is not the only marketer tapping into mobile’s omnipresence to reach a greater amount of consumers.

PepsiCo is also taking to mobile to promote its National Football League sponsorship by encouraging users to text football-related keywords to a designated number and receive links to microsites offering sweepstakes entries to win Pepsi merchandise (see story).

Similarly, Unilever’s Axe leveraged an in-store partnership with Walmart this past summer that was designed to attract the brand’s young male audience with relevant music downloads on mobile as a reward for purchasing products (see story).

“These types of shopper based rewards are becoming more frequent and easy to execute with technology which allows us to reach our shopper with a meaningful value add,” Ms. Kennedy said.

Final Take
Alex Samuely, staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York