HMV launches Pure rewards

The entertainment retailer is launching a new rewards program with a unique-to-Canada media strategy.

When HMV in the UK launched the Pure rewards last May, they didn’t use any media to promote the loyalty program whatsoever, says Humphrey Kadaner, president of HMV Canada.

‘From their perspective, it was a rewards program primarily for existing users,’ Kadaner explains, and the promo was limited to the cash register. But in Canada, the media plan for the marketing of Pure Rewards will go beyond POP and in-store, Kadaner assures MiC.

This week, HMV Canada launched a Canadian version of Pure rewards that offers consumers one point for every penny spent in store or online, redeemable for entries for contests with VIP prizes like an evening out with Perez Hilton or the chance to meet teen heartthrob Justin Bieber. Some of the prizes also appeal to consumers outside of HMV’s core target of 14- to 24-year-olds, such as Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band vinyl, or Stephen King-autographed novels.

‘Our primary focus initially would be existing consumers, but we felt there was at least some add-on,’ says Kadaner, about the media mix promoting Pure launching this week and handled in-house. This includes ads in newspapers, cinemas, and online across channels.

Given that HMV’s target demo is ‘heavy consumers of entertainment’ who tend to be online, digital media is more important than ever to the music store chain’s marketing.

‘We absolutely have evolved more of our advertising and the greater percentage of our advertising towards digital and online vehicles,’ says Kadaner. He adds HMV Canada invests about 20 to 25% of their ad spend in digital media.

Given the instability of the music and entertainment industry, HMV has evolved its retail strategy with the launch of download site, and the introduction of an apparel and fashion accessories line that will debut in-store this summer.