October 02, 2014
Case Study

Brand Awareness: Mobile radio ads foster engagement and list growth for Hydro Flask

SUMMARY: "What our company is about is ... when you're a few miles out on that trail in the hot dusty trails of summer, and then you take that drink of water out of your Hydro Flask, and those ice chunks hit your lips, it just gives you that refreshing moment," explained Lucas Alberg, Marketing Manager, Hydro Flask.

Hydro Flask was looking for a creative way to reach potential customers. Utilizing a mobile radio app with ads for product discounts and contests, the company aimed to reach its audience at the right time with the right message.
by Erin Hogg, Reporter


Hydro Flask is all about providing customers with products that enable them to better enjoy themselves in the outdoors.

As a provider of double wall vacuum-insulated water bottles, beer growlers and coffee flasks, Hydro Flasks prides itself on keeping beverages, either hot or cold, the perfect temperature for its on-the-go customer base.

Selling products in 6,000 stores nationwide, including natural food markets such as Whole Foods, Hydro Flask is a growing brand that enjoys a healthy presence in a few markets. However, Lucas Alberg, Marketing Manager, Hydro Flask, explained the brand is still relatively young, beginning in 2008, and is looking to expand and grow.

The goal for Alberg and the team at Hydro Flask was to increase brand exposure. With a new 32-ounce double-walled insulated water bottle being launched, the team saw an opportunity to target their audience wherever they were in their outdoor excursions through a mobile radio app, Clip Radio.


Hydro Flask partnered with a technology company producing a mobile radio app that allows listeners to not only hear an ad played on their favorite local radio station, but also see a tap-able visual element that links to the promotion.

Hydro Flask set out to target its local Portland market using the mobile radio app, with included around 26,000 potential users.

Step #1. Decide what to promote via the mobile radio ad

Hydro Flask had never utilized traditional radio to advertise its products.

Seeing the potential of reaching new customers while they were travelling through mobile radio ads seemed like a promising and logical strategy.

"It's never a bad thing to try things and experiment and see how it works. Timing-wise, it worked out really well with the launch of the new 32-ounce, so a lot of factors aligned at the same time," Alberg explained.

The team decided to promote the new 32-ounce water bottle through an enter-to-win promotional campaign, 10% discounts for Hydro Flask products and other giveaways.

Free shipping was another option for an ad. These promotions were unique to the radio app and did not run elsewhere.

Step #2. Launch mobile radio campaign

The mobile app allowed Hydro Flask's targeted listeners the ability to easily browse radio programming.

The app can automatically detect a station's broadcast with audio recognition technology, allowing the listener to simultaneously see the content that is being played.

If a listener hears or sees a particular song or advertisement of interest, they can save the desired content through the app to keep and interact with it on their own time.

The app also allowed users to look back at the previous hour of programming, enabling them to access song information and all ad content, find additional information about a local business they heard advertised or enter a contest promoted by local radio personalities.

Step #3. Drive users to the site through ads

Using the mobile radio ads, the team aimed to generate new customers that might be interested in the product, but they did not expect customers to want to purchase Hydro Flask right away.

It was all about generating interest and exposing the brand's products to people who may not have heard of the brand or seen it in stores before.

For users of the mobile radio app who tapped on a Hydro Flask ad, the app displayed a detailed page where more information was given about that particular campaign. From there, users who tapped an ad for a discount or free shipping were sent to the Hydro Flask online store. Users for the giveaway were simply added into the email database and stayed on the mobile app page. They were later targeted through remarketing efforts via email.

"Our ultimate goal was to get those clickthroughs to our website and then either convert those into sales or grow our retail list for future promotions and sales," Alberg explained.

Step #4. Build email list with app users

Because the users of the app already included their email as part of downloading the app, Hydro Flask had their email address. As a result, no form fill was needed.

Hydro Flask added these radio listeners to its email list and sent promotional emails, including free shipping and discounts as well as contests and announcements about new products and initiatives.

This way, the process for getting new customers into the fold was seamless when they entered to win a contest.

Users didn't have to enter in their contact information, and the mobile radio app would send those addresses straight to the marketing team at Hydro Flask once they engaged with the ad. Opting-in to receive communications was given with registering for the app and when users entered into a promotional contest.

Those who participated in the campaign received multiple special emails, unique to their participation in the mobile app ad.

People who entered to win a free water bottle were sent emails displaying the winners. The participants of the discount were sent alert emails telling them that the code was expiring and to remind them to take advantage of the offer.

After all of promotions finished, the radio app users were added into the larger Hydro Flask subscriber base.


From this effort, Hydro Flask experienced:
  • A 13% open rate on the mobile radio ads

  • A 24% engagement rate with the ads

  • 643 opt-in email addresses from the app

For Alberg and the team at Hydro Flask, they experienced results that edify the value of having the ability to interact with content that you would hear on the radio.

In the future, Alberg deemed this as a successful venture and said this would be something worth pursuing again.

"We knew going into it who the audience was, and it aligned with our audiences as well, which is one of the reasons we thought it would be a good match in the first place," Alberg said.

It was a combination of understanding their audience's behaviors and also sending them the right message wherever they happened to be that drove this success for the team.

"I wouldn't say this effort taught us anything new about our customers. It just reaffirmed the behavior we've seen in the past. It's not a bad thing to confirm things," Alberg explained. "When you know your audience, you can effectively address their needs and wants. Then, taking it a step further and addressing them in a creative manner is a great way to additionally differentiate your brand."

Creative Samples

  1. Mobile ad

  2. Hydro Flask online store


Hydro Flask

Clip Radio

Related Resources

Mobile Marketing: 3 tips from ModCloth on mobile app engagement

Mobile Retargeting: Deep linking effort increases revenue 10.6%, app open rate 8.8%

Mobile Commerce: 4 creative approaches for using Flipboard

Social Media Marketing: Small sporting goods store sees 1,100% ROI increase with Facebook coupon

Social Media Marketing: Tools and takeaways to implement today

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