Big-name retailers often inject lots of money into Super Bowl ads, hoping their company will possess the most unique, memorable viral commercial. In a move that demonstrates the importance of mobile, Target won’t be partaking in the Super Bowl ad festivities; instead, the company developed an app, entitled “Snack Bowl,” which they hope becomes a memorable (and profitable) addition to the Super Bowl XLVII experience.
According to Mashable, “Snack Bowl” is a basic app, accessed through a mobile browser or via popular app stores, in which players are awarded points for throwing snacks to their virtual guests; the game becomes faster as points pile up. Taking advantage of social networking, the app also encourages sharing via Facebook, and allows players to challenge their friends. Target is taking a chance, hoping the break from direct marketing provides them an edge over the competitive TV ad space.
The Super Bowl is, traditionally, a competitive day for retailers to demonstrate their marketing finesse and expose their products to excited football fans. But Target’s approach shifts the focus away from in-your-face marketing; instead, the company realizes the potential of mobile interaction during the game. Tweets, text messages, and Facebook statuses are bound to increase on Super Bowl Sunday. Target is taking advantage of this untapped market, hoping to reshape the Super Bowl ad space on February 3, making advertising less expensive and competitive. Eddie Babe, a Target spokesman, said, “We’re viewing digital as a lot more than shopping online — it’s an opportunity to connect with guests better.” Target plans to promote the app via its mobile site, in-house apps, and paid search.
Target’s mobile advertising play poses a unique question for retailers worldwide who focus on traditional marketing: Could mobile apps such as “Snack Bowl” overtake traditional television advertisements in the future?
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