The Scratch Off Effect: REI

Back in November 2013, outdoor retailer REI, famous for their outdoor gear, sporting goods and clothing, sponsored the Gear Guide issue of Backpacker magazine and ran an in-app digital scratch advertisement for their mobile app subscribers.

Built into the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, Adobe featured a post on their blog about the scratch ad campaign and the ease of development within the Adobe Cookbook. They dubbed it “the Scratch-Off effect”.

What was great about it?

They hit the target demographic bullseye

Sponsoring the Gear Guide issue of Backpacker was a surefire way for REI to reach their target demographic: people who are passionate about exploring the outdoors. Also, making the experience in-app adds a layer of exclusivity. Customers are more likely to respond when they feel like they are the first to receive special deals, increasing brand interaction and customer loyalty.

In-App Experience

REI is passionate about their customer base, offering smartphone apps, newsletters and membership discounts. In this case, the experience was completely in-app, as opposed to email. Rather than offer a deal or promotion, REI also used the tool as an opportunity to relay information to a segment of customers they could already count on.

Using the iPhone and iPad to their advantage

As part of tapping into their loyal customer base, REI honed in on the majority of customers using iPhones and iPads to access the app. They used the parallax effect on these devices to provide additional interactivity. The device could be rotated to change the perspective of the imagery.

When we stumbled across this article, we were pretty excited. We love seeing digital scratch technology in action. Not only did REI do an excellent job designing and executing the campaign, but it helped validate the scratching experience as a viable digital marketing initiative.

Using interactivity not only lengthens the amount of time users spend engaging with your brand, but provides joy and entertainment. REI took it a step further by targeting the right customers and making the process convenient, responsive and fun.