SmartStop Self Storage, the retail brand for Strategic Storage Trust Inc., has released a humorous 30-second online commercial in support of its SmartStop smartphone app to demonstrate the tool’s usefulness to customers in locating and managing stored items. The commercial is SmartStop’s latest effort using social media and other innovative marketing strategies.
Compatible with the iPhone and Android smartphones, the SmartStop App enables self-storage customers to keep track of the valuables inside their storage units. Its inventory feature is linked to the customer account on the SmartStop website, allowing customers to view, add, remove and organize contents from their mobile device or the company’s website. Customers can also use the application to buy moving supplies and book reservations online.
Titled “Save the Day,” the commercial spot depicts a dad frantically in search of his daughter's missing toy bunny. He looks under beds, in cabinets and trash cans until he ultimately locates the precious “nummy” in his rental storage unit by using the SmartStop App.
"Our storage inventory app is very clever, but we know new technology can be intimidating for some customers," said H. Michael Schwartz, CEO of Strategic Storage Trust, a publicly registered, non-traded real estate investment trust. "By using humor, we hope to show how the app can be a lifesaver in the kind of situation anyone can relate to—that panicky hunt for that one thing that will placate a child."
The commercial is the latest example of how SmartStop has embraced new advertising and marketing channels. Last fall, the company ran a "Sing It Smart" video-jingle contest on Facebook. Brent Morgan, a 23-year-old music teacher in Athens, Ala., received $5,000 for obtaining the highest number of votes on Facebook for his catchy guitar solo, "Goodbye Clutter, Hello Floors." In April, 60-second radio spots based on Morgan's winning jingle began airing in Atlanta and Las Vegas to announce a new promotion called "SmartStop bucks the system."
The company also leveraged music videos submitted by other Facebook participants by creating 15-second ad spots to run in local movie theaters in markets where SmartStop has a strong self-storage presence.
"Today's self-storage customer is increasingly sophisticated in how they like to receive their information," said Michele Cataldo, vice president of marketing. "We are trying to embrace all the different channels of communication, whether it's television, radio, movies or social media. The idea is that to really understand the SmartStop way you need to hear it, see it, touch it, feel it."
The Strategic Storage Trust portfolio of wholly-owned properties includes 100 facilities in 17 states and Canada that are branded as SmartStop Self Storage. The portfolio includes approximately 64,800 self-storage units and 8.1 million square feet of rentable storage space.