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Costa Coffee joins NFC treasure hunt

By Retail Technology | Friday October 4 2013

Coffee chain uses contactless/NFC and QR codes to drive footfall and increase sales with mobile phone-based competition

Costa Coffee was one of the companies participating in a new mobile phone-based treasure hunt in support of Purple Flag Week, that ran from 21 to 29 September.

Developed MoLo Rewards and its delivery partner Association of Town & City Management (ATCM), the treasure hunt was designed to drive footfall and increase sales in the evening and night-time economy.

A dozen towns throughout the UK signed up to play the “Purple Flag Treasure Hunt, powered by MoLo Rewards”. They were helped by the participation of the national brands Costa Coffee and Sky TV.

Local and national marketing initiative

The two companies have provided prizes at a local and national level for treasure hunters to win along with money-off coupons for those consumers participating in the game. 

In addition, a number of national retail and hospitality brands participated at a local level, including Lush, Odeon, Pizza Express, Frankie & Benny’s and Beefeater. And independent retailers also got involved, issuing their owns clues and providing prize incentives.

Consumers signed up to receive their first clue at MoLo Rewards website either by visiting the treasure hunt section or by scanning an near field communication (NFC) tag or quick response (QR) code placed on an A4 smart ‘teaser’ poster sited on the counters of all the participating retailers. 

Promoting ongoing customer engagement

The initial teaser advert invited people to play for great prizes and was then replaced on launch day by a second smart board, which could be tapped or scanned to receive a subsequent clue. The player was also issued with a money-off coupon to be redeemed instore.

Players could also accumulate points for each of the stages of the treasure hunt. Once they hit the required target, the player was automatically entered into the prize draw where they had the chance to win big prizes, including free Costa Coffee for a year or Sky merchandise and local gift vouchers.

The interactive digital game explored the ways smartphone users can use NFC and QR code capabilities, while delivering valuable insight into the interaction between consumers and brands. More immediately for those retailers involved, the generation of footfall, sales and loyalty was paramount.

Encouraging contactless uptake

Chris Davies, chief operations officer of MoLo Rewards, said: "I believe by making NFC fun and placing reward at the centre of the consumer engagement, it is the most likely way of gaining uptake of the mobile phone contactless platform/ecosystem while providing significant value to participating brands in terms of increased footfall and sales."

Martin Blackwell, chief executive of ATCM, added: “Across the UK, towns have been asking us to find a way of engaging people in the Purple Flag Week; our technology partner, MoLo Rewards, has introduced the innovative treasure hunt, turning mobile contactless engagement into a simple, fun game that can be played on any smartphone.”

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