News America Marketing Partners With Thinaire To Engage Shoppers With Brands At Shelf SmartSource with NFC Devices Offer Vividly Experiential Mobile Interaction

NEW YORK, July 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- News America Marketing, the company behind the SmartSource family of marketing and promotional products and services in the U.S. and Canada, today announced the launch of its Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled at shelf program. The new program was developed in partnership with Thinaire, a pioneer in NFC and the leader in this rapidly growing field. The resulting "SmartSource with NFC" vehicles actively engage consumers in interactive experiences with brands while they shop.  SmartSource with NFC is now available in the majority of News America Marketing's 52,000 store national retail network.

To create the SmartSource with NFC program, special RFID/NFC tags are embedded within a standard Shelftalk or Shelftalk Banner sign. These tags promptly deliver branded media content onto NFC-enabled smartphones or tablets whenever a shopper places their mobile device in close proximity to the in-store media, without the friction of an App or scanner.

"SmartSource with NFC is a tremendous new product that makes it possible for consumers to have interactive mobile experiences with brands as they're shopping," said Jesse Aversano, EVP, Marketing, News America Marketing. "The power of NFC is that it converts print media into an engaging digital experience at the moment when consumers are making a purchase decision."

In 2012, 125 million NFC enabled phones were shipped,1 with 630 million devices projected globally by 2015.2  When the consumer holds his or her smartphone near the chip, they're led directly to an interactive brand experience, including recipes, promotional games, sweepstakes, digital coupons, app downloads or other customized involvement. Brands can also elect to include social sharing options across a broad range of platforms so that shoppers effectively become brand ambassadors. Of equal importance, the technology captures numerous key metrics including number of interactions, date and time of tap, store location and type of device used. Thinaire's mobile marketing platform also provides rich social media data, including peer-to-peer shares.

"Thinaire's platform is uniquely positioned to enhance traditional retail marketing campaigns with a mobile component that establishes ongoing communications between the brand and shoppers," commented Mark Goodstadt, CEO, Thinaire.  "It's wonderful to see the technology we've pioneered being used in a way that is so accessible through SmartSource with NFC powered by Thinaire."

In market testing with Kraft Natural Cheese, Nilla Wafers and Philadelphia Indulgence last fall produced highly favorable results.

  • Consumer engagement at shelf increased from 5-10 seconds to 48 seconds.
  • 36% of all consumers who interacted with the NFC-enhanced Shelftalk acted, whether saving a recipe, downloading the Kraft app, or sharing the brand socially.
  • Compared to QR Codes, the overall engagement level with NFC was 12 times higher.

The consumers who engaged with the program, viewed it as a totally new experience and were highly satisfied with the simplicity and quality of the NFC interaction in their grocery store and referenced wanting to be engaged in the experience again.3

"Initial results from our pilot are very positive and set the stage for our 2013 brand efforts in mobile," Edward Kaczmarek, Director of Innovation & Emerging Technology, Mondelez International.

"Not only does SmartSource with NFC bridge the print to digital gap that's been puzzling many brands, it does it in a way that consumers have been very receptive to," said Aversano. "Imagine a promotion that consumers want to engage with again and again. We're very excited to be able to offer exactly that to our clients."

1 Source: ABI, May, 2013
2 Source: Informa Telecoms + Media
3 Source: The pilot test was conducted in five major supermarket chain stores in the San Francisco Bay Area over a four-week period in August 2012.

About News America Marketing®
News America Marketing is the premier marketing partner of some of the world's most well-known brands. From our iconic Sunday coupon insert, SmartSource Magazine, to our pioneering coupon app, SmartSource Xpress, News America Marketing's SmartSource® branded advertising and promotional programs are an integral part of America's shopping routine.   We reach millions of consumers each day through our network of 1,700+ publications1, 52,500 retail stores2, 300 partner sites including our own SmartSource.com3 as well as through our popular coupon app SmartSource Xpress® for iPhone® and iPad®.  Since 1988, we have delivered advertising and promotions that are proven to help brands succeed.

For more information, please visit newsamerica.com or smartsource.com.

iPhone® and iPad® are trademarks of Apple, Inc.  Registered in the U.S. and other countries.
1NAM market list effective 7.14.13
2Based on NAM's SSCM as of cycle 7, 2013 for all COT except Domestic COT is based on NAM's Carts program and Book COT is based on NAM's Shelftalk program
3As of June 2013

About Thinaire®
Thinaire is the leader in NFC marketing solutions that US/Global brands and marketers turn to: Sony, adidas, Unilever, Kraft, Verizon, Nine West, Hershey's, et al.  Thinaire has pioneered a scalable cloud-based marketing platform that enables coordinated and relevant brand messages to come to life on mobile devices using NFC and other mobile on-ramps. Thinaire's platform supports mobile engagement and activation initiating from multichannel media forms, including: In-store media; magazines and publications; digital place-based media networks; Out-of-Home media; special events; as well as consumer interaction directly from product engagement medallions. Thinaire's platform is designed to deliver branded experiences and promotions that make offline media digital, social, measurable and mobile…enhancing consumer-brand engagement, increasing activation and facilitating mobile transactions. Thinaire is a Global Award Winning Finalist for industry pioneering for their Kraft/Halls NFC enhanced Media  For more information, visit www.thinaire.net.

SOURCE News America Marketing



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