November 30, 2012
Jeweler Tiffany & Co. is looking to boost sales through a banner advertisement on the New York Times mobile application that leads users to an optimized shopping page.
The ad sits at the bottom of the app and features just the brand's name. A click-through on the ad brings consumers to a mobile-optimized Web site that features products listed by price and type.
“The brand’s choice of platform was most likely determined by the fact that consumers are spending increasingly more time engaging with apps than with the mobile Web,” said Scott Forshay, mobile and emerging technologies strategies at digital agency Acquity Group, Chicago.
“App consumers are a more engaged audience, as opposed to the typical mobile Web site media consumer, who has most likely been directed to a media site via a search query,” he said.
Mr. Forshay is not affiliated with Tiffany, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Tiffany did not respond by press deadline.
Simplicity in design
The ad on the New York Times app shows the Tiffany brand name and the words "Legendary for 175 years" with its signature turquoise color as the background.
New York Times app
A click-through leads to the mobile-optimized Web site where users can search jewelry items by price or type.
Tiffany mobile site
Clicking on a category leads to images of the items. Clicking on each image reveals additional details on the product including the price.
The categories of jewelry include new jewelry, bracelets, brooches, charms, earrings, necklaces and pendants, rings, men's jewelry, men's jewelry, silver jewelry, Tiffany Celebration rings, Tiffany Yellow Diamonds, Solitaire Jewelry and Wedding Bands.
Consumers can see more information on the product page by clicking on the words “View Details.”
The top of the new jewelry page features the Return to Tiffany heart pendant in Rubedo metal for $275.
The next page allows users to add the product to their mobile shopping cart or share it on various social media platforms.
A simple ad such as this one can be effective for a crowded mobile screen.
“The plainness of this ad is what makes its message clear,” said Shuli Lowy, marketing director at Ping Mobile, Beverly Hills, CA.
“Many marketers forget how small the screens are," she said. "Instead, they try to make an ad glitzy and glamorous, incorporating multiple techniques into a tiny ad.”
Although the ad is simple, it may be lacking a necessary aspect, experts say.
“Choosing to only display the simplicity of the corporate logo, with no definitive call to action or reason to engage with the ad, is a missed opportunity for the brand,” Acquity Group’s Mr. Forshay said.
“Competition for real estate and attention on a mobile device is crowded and the luxury consumer has little time or patience for excess noise,” he said. “With no communication of the end goal or reward for audience engagement, the ad only serves to add clutter to the consumer experience.”
The ad on the New York Times app is not the only mobile effort that the jeweler has released this year.
For example, Tiffany looked to direct affluent New Yorkers to its SoHo property through geo-targeted banner ads on the Weather Channel mobile app.
Consumers checking out the map section of the app could see the banner ad on the top of the page. The ad allowed consumers to call the store and gave directions to the property (see story).
In addition, the jeweler has been praised for its digital efforts.
Tiffany outdid its competitors in the digital space as the only brand to receive a genius ranking on L2 Think Tank’s new Digital IQ Index: Watches and Jewelry (see story).
In its latest effort, the placement of the mobile ad on the New York Times app rather than the mobile site is likely to catch consumers who are willing to spend the time to shop.
“Trying to entice someone who is on the go to complete some holiday gift shopping is unlikely to be effective,” Ping Mobile’s Ms. Lowy said. “Instead, Tiffany opted to place ads on a mobile app in hopes to catch users who are not as busy.”
Erin Shea, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York