Today, free UK newspaper Metro announced the launch of a targeted consumer marketing campaign in London aimed to increase readership of its tablet edition, according to a press release. The campaign, which will continue for the rest of the week, aims to reach the “urbanite” audience that falls outside of Metro’s commuter distribution areas.
Advertisements will run on digital screens in London’s major train stations, in the print editions of Metro, on the music streaming service Spotify and through in-app ads, the release said.
The station ads, starting at 4pm each day, instruct viewers to take a picture of the front page of Metro’s tablet edition and then tweet the photo to @MetroUK with the hashtag #tablet and the viewer’s location, from which one winner will be chosen per day. Each day’s winner will then be entered for the chance to win a tablet.
The print ads include information about the tablet edition ads at train stations, but also instruct readers to download Blippar, an image-recognition app, on their mobile phones to play a 3D game, from which they will also have a chance to win a tablet, the release said.
Metro’s ads on Spotify offer consumers yet another chance to win something: by clicking on display ads, users are directed to Metro's Facebook page where they can enter to win a year-long membership to Spotify Premium.
Launched in 1999, Metro is the third-largest paper in the UK, available in 50 cities, according to its website. Metro Tablet Edition receives on average 1.3 million page views and 75,000 unique visitors per day, the release said.
“Metro’s Tablet Edition is proving to be a fantastic success, and has quickly become one of the most popular news apps in Apple’s Newsstand,” said Bryan Scott, marketing communications director of Metro, in the press release. “We are committed to providing urbanites with more ways to engage with Metro throughout the day, and the tablet edition is the perfect way for them access Metro’s unique blend of news, entertainment, sport and celebrity gossip.”
The marketing campaign combines aspects of social media aimed at consumer acquisition with traditional marketing techniques (print ads, for example), which suggests that the campaign aims not only to reach the urban audience it deems “tech-savvy” in the press release, but also to secure those readers for future targeted online advertising, whether through tablet subscriptions or Facebook likes.
As previously reported, spending on mobile advertising, including tablets, grew 157% from 2010 to 2011, according to a report by the Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
While it remains to be seen whether directly reaching out to consumers via social media can increase tablet readership, with such dramatic gains in mobile usage, it seems clear that tablets are nevertheless on the way to becoming an essential aspect of marketing campaigns.