Imagine you’re waiting in line at a fast-food restaurant. You pull out your phone to check the weather and an eye-catching ad suddenly pops up, linking to a Mercy For Animals video and website. The ad informs you about a current campaign against inhumane practices in the supply chain of the very restaurant you’re about to order food from. You may think twice about remaining in that line.
This is the idea behind a new tactic MFA is using to better target ads to mobile users. Here’s how it works: A lot of mobile apps use GPS or RFID technology to enable location-based services—think weather, map, and dating apps. This technology is frequently used to create geofences, virtual perimeters of physical areas that enable software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves those areas. In other words, if a person is about to patronize a restaurant or store currently involved in an MFA campaign, we can send them an ad linking to our campaign sites.
Marketers have used this technology for years to send consumers location-based offers, but as MFA campaign coordinator Abraham Rowe explains, this may be the first use of this technology for this kind of activism. “The publishers and advertising platforms I’ve talked to haven’t heard of anyone else doing this. And the technology works. I went into a Qdoba before they made their commitment to improving chicken welfare standards and almost immediately saw one of our campaign ads.
At MFA, we’re always exploring ways to use new technology and ideas to be the most effective activists we can be—and this new outreach approach is an exciting example of that.