Hey Mobile Moms, How ‘Bout a Coke and a Pretzel?

Coca-Cola and Auntie Anne's new campaign targets moms in Atlanta shopping malls

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Coca-Cola and pretzel seller Auntie Anne’s have partnered on a location-based, back-to-school-oriented mobile ad test in Atlanta.

Through Aug. 15, the pilot will target moms, teens and tweens who might be back-to-school shopping. The banner-like ads will appear via a network of apps from categories such as games, health, fitness and weather. The creative will pitch a coupon for a Coke and a soft pretzel item when the consumers are close to one of Auntie Anne’s 11 shopping mall locations in the southeastern city.

Coke and Auntie Anne's are utilizing technology from mobile advertising companies Millennial Media and Sparkfly in the effort. The brands can track the campaign’s performance by assessing redemption rates and other data. However, Tom Daly, an interactive manager for Atlanta-based Coca-Cola, said that his beverage company's reaction to the test won't tilt too heavily on redemption rates. "Certainly, we'll be interested to compare against other coupon tactics, but redemption rate alone is not what we are looking for," he said. "We will be looking at other data points along the 'value chain' to help best understand [mobile's] true role."

At the same time, Auntie Anne's brass sounded a little more compelled to see what percentage of coupons were converted to sale.

“The ability to measure ROI on mobile…and track it on one platform enables [us] to make an intelligent assessment of mobile's performance against other channels," said Heather Neary, CMO at the Lancaster, Penn.-based retailer.

In technical terms, Millennial Media general manager Marcus Startzel described how the campaign can zero in on moms. “We use our first-party data to build unique audiences on our platform, and moms are certainly one of the key real-world audiences we are able to reach,” he said. “We can then overlay this with location data we have on our platform, and combined, it allows us to reach the right consumer, at the right time and place.”

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.