Verdens Gang is using location-based technology in its app to offer users incentives to engage with advertisers (aka, “location-based re-targeting”).

Coca-Cola and a Norwegian cinema chain have signed on for a pilot project using the app, the goal being to to sell more snacks and make customers return more often, according to Alexander Rydfjord, commercial head of mobile at VG, who gave a synopsis of the initiative during his 7-minute Brainsnacks session at the INMA European Media Conference in Budapest, Hungary.

The case shows that publishers can use beacon technology to serve hyper-local ads, as well as location-based re-targeting to achieve significantly higher conversion rates compared to traditional mobile advertising.

Online re-targetting is a huge business for VG, Rydfjord said. When looking at a user, that user is considered as a person who lives in a certain place, visits certain places, and travels. The question for VG was how to connect those dots.

VG decided to try to bridge the gap between online and offline behaviour.

Knowing that 86% of Norwegians carry smartphone all the time, it was just a matter of using the right technology, Rydfjord said. The company used the VG app, which had 1.3 million installs.

The project worked like this: The smartphone reacts when a viewer is the cinema, triggers the system, and on the screen, in the VG app, a free e-coupon for Coke or snacks appears. The same system works when a user is at his home; he is then offered a free ticket to the cinema, but only when he brings a friend. The system also uses beacon technology.

As a result, 12% of users went into the snackbar when at the movies, and 16% returned to the cinema.