Macy's 'Flower Show' Blossoms on HopStop, Foursquare

  |  March 30, 2011   |  Comments

Retailer purchases takeover ads for six markets while adding a dash of geo-social.

Macy's hopes that and Foursquare prove to be effective on-the-go marketing platforms for its 37th annual "Flower Show," which began Sunday and goes through April 10.

The department store has launched takeover ads on's public transportation search pages for New York, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago, Minneapolis, and San Francisco. Macy's will be offering guided "Tower of Flowers" tours in each city. As part of a week-long buy running through Thursday, the retailer will also appear in a takeover ad on's general homepage.


The display ad creative reflects the different floral offerings for each metropolitan market. For instance, Macy's ads on the Washington, DC, page call out the capital's annual Cherry Blossoms Festival, which the retailer is partaking in for the first time. And the ads on's San Francisco page highlight the flowers show happening at the Macy's historic Union Square location. For each city page, half-page ads (300 X 600 pixels) and leader board banners (278 X 90 pixels) appear.

Martine Reardon, EVP of national marketing at Macy's, told ClickZ the main goal behind the initiative was to drive foot traffic to the flower shows. "People have a plan for what they want to do while visiting a city," Reardon said. "It's so easy with the way people are mobile these days for them to simply connect [to] with their mobile device or tablets and figure out how to get to certain locations. When they arrive on the site, they can see that Macy's has its flowers show."

Joe Meyer, CEO at, said his company had never sold a week-long takeover of several pages before. "It is the first time we've ever done anything like this with an advertiser," he said.

Meyer said his site averages more than two million monthly U.S. users while claiming a younger, middle-class demographic. According to his New York-based company, 50 percent of its users make $75,000-plus, 25 percent earn more than $100,000, and 65 percent are between 18 and 34 years old.

"Thirty percent of our overall usage is mobile," Meyer said. "It's conducive for people looking for directions while they are on the go."

There's a wedding season tie-in to Macy's ads. Click-throughs are taken to a landing page that pitches $20 off gift registry purchases of $100 or more. "Obviously, the March and April timeframe is a great opportunity to talk to brides," Reardon said.

Macy's will also be running a promotion on Foursquare throughout the flower show festivities. When geo-social users check in at a show, they will receive a tip on Foursquare that encourages them to take a picture of the floral scene and share the image via Twitter. They'll be instructed to utilize city-specific hash-tags, such as #MacysFlowerNY, #MacysFlowerPHI, and #MacysFlowerMIN. Macy's will monitor the hash-tags, while a limited number of gift cards will be given out daily to users who tweet an image. The retailer will reply to the winning users with the details of where to claim their card.

Meanwhile, display ads will appear on sites like and to push the Flower Show events. In addition, print ads for the campaign are appearing in the six target markets. As one example, Macy's bought a double-truck ad in The New York Times Sunday edition.

"Digital and print are the primary focuses of the campaign," Reardon said. On the historical importance of the Macy's flowers event, she said, "This is part of the DNA of the brand."


Christopher Heine

Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.

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