How do you attach a phone card to a fresh ham? Or a spice bottle, for that matter?
Field Packaging Brands, Owensboro, Ky., found a solution to this dilemma for a recent on-pack promotion on its honey hams.
The manufacturer was one of the first to use SmartLabels, peel-off interactive phone "cards" that combine several technologies, including custom on-pack labeling, calling card long-distance minutes, interactive query systems, and bounce back fulfillment and reporting -- all in one package.
For products that come packaged in bottles, bags, cans, jars or other irregularly shaped packages, SmartLabels can enable phone card promotions that offer instant gratification and encourage consumer take-away.
"Brands that have been locked out of phone card promotions because they couldn't do in-pack, or could only do phone cards through freestanding insert redemption or as a bounce back offer, can now become players," says Brian Sockin, president of Co-Options, based in Stamford, Conn.
Sockin claims that 65% of all brands have been unable to use phone cards due to the packaging problem. SmartLabels are produced by Co-Options Telepromotions, Lubbock, Texas, and are made by Mid America, a division of Menash Corp., Neenah, Wis. In Field Packaging's ham promotion, consumers received 10 minutes of free long-distance time, and were offered a $5 consumer coupon through a voice menu. Because of the program's success, Field expects to roll out SmartLabel promotions with its other product lines, says Richard Barsky, vice president of Field.
Adds Sockin, "If you have two hams next to each other, and one has 10 free minutes of phone time, cook book offers and coupons, you know which one is going to move."
These on-pack labels are available at about 10% of the cost of plastic cards and can carry coupons, recipes, consumer offers and product information, in addition to the phone card element.
For security reasons, and to assure that a product is purchased along with the label, SmartLabels are inkjetted with product identification numbers on the base clear label so that the package must accompany the label to activate the card. Personal identification numbers can also be linked to bar codes.
Sockin notes that SmartLabels' interactive phone platform can route calls directly to their many promotional partners. "We have added-value arrangements with companies such as Teleflora, Better Homes & Gardens Books, Spirit Cruises, PolyGram Records and many others. During a Christmas promotion, for instance, a caller can press one button to send flowers and another to order a PolyGram Christmas CD," he says.
Sockin describes the response to SmartLabels as being very positive. "People are flipping over this," he says. "We haven't found one brand that wasn't interested when we have presented this."