AOL Stocks Stores with Product Kiosks and Premiums
AOL has long relied on distribution of CD-ROMs as its main way to gain trial. But retail clutter being what it is today, the online ISP didn’t want to chance that its new 9.0 Optimized platform would get lost at retail. A new experiential retail approach was concocted, an in-store event push that communicated the features and personalized benefits of the service in a way that was relevant to each consumer.
Branded demonstration exhibits were constructed inside such chains as Wal-Mart, Best Buy, CompUSA, and Office Depot. Staffers were trained to ask questions first and then demonstrate the AOL service as it related to each person. A 12-foot running man (mascot) inflatable and an AOL-wrapped vehicle greeted consumers at each store. Inside, specialists manned the kiosks with laptops and large-screen monitors. Participants who checked out the service were handed premiums and given a sweeps entry.
Over six weeks last summer, Momentum staged 2,500 events that proved so successful the program was extended by an additional six weeks. Service trials spiked, retailers asked for more visits, and the show went on. And on.