Hearst introduces ad format for handing out product samples via social media

Hearst MagazinesHearst Magazines, home to publications such as Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, Good Housekeeping, and Men’s Health, has launched an ad unit which aims to get product samples to people on social media.

The ‘Sample Ignition 360’ unit, deployed in partnership with SoPost, enables Facebook and Instagram users to request free samples in exchange for their email address and shipping information.

Furthermore, Hearst will package and ship products off to customers directly, rather than giving the leads to advertisers for them to fulfil the request. If advertisers choose to, they can reach out to those that requested samples via email and encourage feedback and reviews.

“We know our readers want to try the things we talk about,” Sam Gladis, executive director of ad product marketing at Hearst Magazines, told Digiday. “What we’ve found is that there is a desire within the organisation, with our ad partners, to find new and unique ways of engaging with our consumer. We map to what the market tells us is important.”

Ads can distributed via Facebook and Instagram, or within Facebook or Instagram Stories from Hearst’s magazine titles.