Membership should have its privileges. So Sony endeavoured to reward its Pulse loyalty program members with two targeted events in its concept stores across the country last year. DM invited them into the stores and encouraged them to bring a friend, but the hope, of course, was that once they caught a glimpse of Sony’s products, it would drive them to purchase.


Because Sony items have been traditionally available in big box or department stores, Sony’s Pulse program was started in June 2004 as part of an effort to drive traffic into its growing legion of concept stores, says Meghan Carter, group account director, MacLaren McCann Direct & Interactive.

Unlike other loyalty programs, ongoing purchases are not key to earning rewards; instead, an initial purchase of at least $100 qualifies consumers to join. They then simply have to enter the store and have their card swiped to earn coupons towards big purchases and to enter contests to win prizes. The thinking is: ‘If you get into the store more often, you may [eventually] purchase something,’ Carter says. ‘[Pulse members] are people who are passionate about technology.’

Over two evenings specifically, one in May 2005 and the other in October, Pulse Night events were organized to highlight new products, provide information sessions and offer deep discounts on certain featured items.

May’s piece included copy on the DM piece inviting members and a friend to an exclusive event that encouraged them to ‘come to their senses.’ Inside, the invitation detailed advantages of membership and encouraged members to share the benefits with a friend. They also had a chance to win one of 10 Sony Network Walkman MP3 players

In October, one product was highlighted: the brand’s very niche SXRD HDTV, which ranges in price from $5,000 to $17,000. There were also coupons for in-store discounts on certain items, and a chance to win tickets to the Grey Cup.

Over 60,000 consumers (40,000 current; 20,000 prospective) were invited to the 75 locations across the country. They had to RSVP online or by contacting their local Sony store.


The goals to increase store traffic, generate sales and encourage membership were met. Invitees who received the DM were responsible for 13% of net sales on each event day. The May event generated 150% above the daily average for the period; the October event, 114%. And the ‘bring a friend’ component of the campaign generated 1,866 new Pulse members.

Gabrielle Holmes, CRM and retail marketing manager, Sony Canada

Isabelle Mak, assistant brand manager, retail division, Sony Canada

Kimberley Walsh, VP/CD

Ernie Bertuzzo, group CD

Curtis Edwards, senior AD

Madeleine Di Gangi, copywriter

Meghan Carter, group account director

Brad Richardson, account supervisor

Aisha Lokhat, senior account executive

Chad Jackson, associate production manager

Karmen Lendic, senior production supervisor

Simone Henry, director, project management