MM Awards

Case Study: S4M and Subway

Tyrone Stewart

You're the Chef (S4M + Subway)More-than-ever brands are demanding measurable results from their digital ad campaigns. They want to know if their ads have really made the desired impact and brought their business more custom, or if they have just wasted time and money.

The desire for ads to be viewable and reaching the right audience are two of advertisers’ biggest concerns as digital ad spend continues to soar. According to IAB UK and PwC annual ad spend report, digital advertising grew 17.3 per cent to £10.3bn in 2016 – with mobile ad spend rising 50.3 per cent to £3.87bn, or 38 per cent of total digital spend.

Mobile native ad tech company S4M is well aware mobile’s growth and the need for brands to deliver truly effective campaigns.

“A successful mobile campaign needs to deliver valuable services and content for smartphone users while assuring engagement for advertisers,” said Christophe Collet, CEO at S4M.

S4M’s mobile-to-store attribution strategy covers all of the bases required for a successful mobile campaign by ensuring relevant engagements. It does this by targeting intended audiences efficiently, respectfully and in a verifiable manner.

It’s because of this platform why Subway France – which accounts for one in 10 of all fast food restaurants in France – decided to enlist the help of S4M to deliver its ‘You’re the Chef’ campaign, with the help of S4M’s proprietary Video2Store mobile creative format.

“Subway was looking for complementary solutions to activate drive to store solutions that fits with the real QSR (quick service restaurants) customer habits,” said Fatima Attou, senior marketing manager at Subway France. “We thought that OOH, radio, dropboxes and street marketing strategies were already overused and we wanted to seek out more targeted tools to reach our goal of traffic increase. MediaCom - Subway France's media agency chose S4M as their mobile programmatic partner to execute a mobile-to-store campaign around France.”

S4M set about getting this in motion by first creating a precise mobile audience cluster of fast food consumers. It did this by geofencing a radius around every Subway in France to define the relevant audience to target.

The ad tech platform then collected anonymous mobile device IDs around Subway restaurants for 30 days before the campaign getting underway. S4M also collected IDs from four competing brands, resulting in the collection of over 8m device IDs.

“The main objective for Subway was to urge all fast food consumers around its restaurant vicinities into its establishments and not lose these consumers to a nearby competitor,” said Attou.

The device IDs were divided into two groups: those that are exposed to the campaign, and a control group of users not exposed. This was in order to evaluate the difference in foot traffic caused by the campaign.

During the campaign, S4M only ran ads to those exposed when they were in range of a Subway – and during the window of time around lunch or dinner. Users, who met that criteria, were prompted with a three-second countdown – giving them the option to exit before the ad begins. Following this countdown, users saw Subway’s current campaign video, along with the distance to their nearest Subway restaurant.

After being exposed to the campaign, converted users clicked on a store locator that provided them with directions to the restaurant.

“With this campaign, we were able to reach and engage Subway's intended audiences and provide directions to urge them into the nearest restaurant. We set out to increase brand visibility for Subway and boost traffic around store vicinities,” said Collet.

Subway saw a 46.72 per cent boost to their foot traffic among those exposed to the campaign, as well as increased uptake in all selected restaurants. In one case, S4M were able to redirect 38.44 per cent of consumer traffic from nearby competitor restaurant into Subway.

“The total uplift to store traffic and traffic from competitor vicinities were calculated on a national level,” said Attou. “We were able to see on a heat map the best performing online interaction rates in various cities across the country, i.e Paris and surrounding regions had outstanding interaction rates.”

46 per cent of users exposed to the ad watched until the end, of which there was a click-through rate of 4.26 per cent to the store locator.

S4M uses a buying model based on cost per landing page and, as a result, only billed Subway for actual rendered impressions, true clicks and fully loaded landing pages.

“We were able to avoid any waste in our media spend,” said Attou. “We observed a constant traffic growth over the last months that we were able to link to these activations, along with many other changes that were made in our advertising strategy. We saw at least two to three additional points of increase every time we activated this specific mobile-to-store strategy.

“S4M’s technology has become a regular solution for us to activate campaigns frequently and we continue to achieve great results. Actually, some of our other markets are currently benchmarking this strategy and technology to use it in other countries based on our initial successes.”