It works like this. Facecard.com, a site run by Nashville agency Edo Interactive, users fill out of a profile (full of valuable demographic information) and sign up for a card that can be used as a prepaid Mastercard debit card. Kids (13 and older) can sign up for a card, while parents can load the card with a set amount of money. The company pitches the card as a way for young adults, particulalry college students, to learn how to handle plastic without getting into the minefield of credit cards. Retailers can then send "prewards" to targeted consumers -- a set amount of money on the Facecard that can only be spent at their store. From the BusinessWeek article:
When [sandwich shop] Jersey Mike's McDonald sent prewards to 300 high school seniors, his expectations weren't high, since 18- and 19-year-olds are notoriously nonresponsive. But the gamble yielded an "overwhelming" 17% return rate, he says, which is "way above" the numbers direct mailings produce. Moreover, it cost Jersey Mike's less than $150: $2 for each redeemed preward, plus a 5% processing fee.It's an interesting gambit on two fronts. The first, of course, is dressing the traditional structure of the coupon into a new media format. Even more facinating, however, is that because the payment is done using the Facecard, the metrics and targetting available to a marketer are finer than anything a newspaper could offer, and even more than direct mailing -- the targeted consumer, and only the targeted consumer, can take advantage of the offer.