December 14, 2022
A mobile phone has become a vital part of many people’s daily lives. They might not even interact with traditional media anymore, but they will likely pick up their phones and scroll through apps. That is one of the reasons why mobile app marketing campaigns are so effective.
Today we’ll talk about some of the best mobile marketing strategies from some of the biggest brands in the world. Take note of what they did right so that you can apply these lessons to your campaigns.
Mobile ad spending (in billion U.S. dollars)
If you need more arguments for supporting your mobile marketing efforts, consider how much time people spend on their phones and how attached they are:
Now, let’s kick it with some of the most head-turning marketing campaign examples.
People are used to traditional advertising, so companies have to find new ways of attracting customers’ attention. In Ukraine, the biggest mobile carrier Kyivstar appealed to augmented reality (AR) to make users interact with its advertisements. Subscribers downloaded a special application called Kyivstar Reality and pointed their cameras at billboards to see how static images turn into realistic videos.
The next step in this campaign was a three-week quest. Subscribers from different cities used the application V. QUEST to find virtual tips. Again, it was based on AR technology.
At the end of the story, Kyivstar announced a virtual tour of Ukraine in the 360° format. Being in front of a billboard with Kyivstar’s ad, users put their smartphones on a special marker. A journey began with the depicted city. Those who wanted a full immersion could visit the company's stores equipped with VR helmets.
As a result, Kyivstar managed to make its advertising noticeable. Moreover, some people were literally hunting it to get acquainted with all the creatives of the company. Consider this case in your mobile app marketing strategies.
This campaign also uses AI — this time, to spot people who seem to be behaving out of character and play a Snickers ad to them. Let us explain.
Suppose a user would always listen to rock, and then they suddenly switched to a completely different genre. The tool would identify this as unusual and play a song that Snickers and Spotify wrote instead of a typical ad (in the Rock, Pop, or Grime genre, depending on the user’s listening data). Each song was calling the listener out for swapping genres, slightly making fun of them.
This ties back to the famous “you’re not you when you’re hungry.”
Bands and music artists aren’t traditionally the ones to use mobile-first marketing, although that is changing on social media. Gorillaz was a trailblazer in a trending, cutting-edge niche — marketing campaigns that use AR-powered apps. That is very fitting for the world’s biggest virtual band.
The Lenz app allowed users to access entirely new and never-seen-before content produced by Gorillaz. All users needed to do was open the app and point the camera at any magenta surface. The app would transform these surfaces into digital portals with audio and visuals.
The app featured exclusive music, a virtual look inside the Gorillaz house, incredible art, and more.
This campaign blends everything from personalization and traditional marketing channels to predictive analytics and mobile app promotion.
The Motley Fool team launched Direct Mail to support a new investor service. This financial and investing advice service asked its subscribers if they’d like to receive a physical postcard. If they agreed, they would send a personalized card, which people could scan with their app to see an embedded video. The postcards were themed after users’ favored retirement destinations (beach, mountains, golf course, etc.).
The campaign also doubled as research because The Motley Fool collected data about their subscribers’ locations. And they could reuse data from the survey about retirement destinations.
Honda took fans to the virtual Formula 1 track with one of its mobile marketing campaigns. The free EvoTrack mobile game was developed in partnership with Red Bull Racing, and the release was timed to the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.
During the four-week competition, players would race against each other to get to the top of the leaderboard and get a chance to win special prizes. Some prizes were merchandising, test drives, tickets to real racing events, and even trips.
Honda launched the game in 2019 and has held competitions several times a year for every major racing event.
To celebrate its 100th anniversary, Gucci, under the creative direction of Alessandro Michele, launched Gucci Garden Archetypes. The virtual Gucci Garden space was an immersive multimedia experience available for two weeks. The short window could have been a part of the marketing strategy to build sales, but the fashion house said it was to “keep with the ephemeral nature of beauty.”
The Gucci Garden experience was built on Roblox, which became a promotion for the game, too. Gucci showcased Michele’s creative vision and inspirations, as well as dynamic textures and patterns for each visitor’s mannequin. And Roblox got to demonstrate its developer tools and lighting technology.
Pepsi has been a Halftime Show sponsor for decades, and the 2022 season was its biggest in terms of promotion. Pepsi’s multiweek campaign commenced with a 30-second ad with a star-studded lineup of Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and Mary J. Blige.
But more importantly for our topic today, the company launched the new Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show app. They knew there would be demand for exclusive content, like behind-the-scenes footage, and users flooded the app. There were also other rewards for using the app, like prop giveaways and footballs signed by Dr. Dre and event announcements delivered as in-app messages.
Fall Football is another sport-themed mobile advertising campaign. So many enthusiastic sports fans who always need something to eat and drink during the game, creating the perfect opportunity for brands to capitalize.
The rules were as simple as they could be. You had to buy participating game day favorites at the store (each with a different score), scan the app at checkout, and collect as many points as possible. Action with Eleven Wallet, Mobile Checkout, Fuel Savings, and 7NOW® delivery also counted as points. The higher the score, the greater the chance to attend 7 games in 11 days.
This brought more users to the app and other digital products under the brand’s umbrella.
This popular marketplace launched an interesting app marketing initiative, which made people invite their friends through special links to cut the price of a certain product (the “helpmates” had to tap on a particular button in the app). The user had only 24 hours to bring the required number of friends (it depended on the item). The purchase could be made when the price drops to 0.1 USD. The promo quickly became viral: Aliexpress got numerous new users.
This marketplace is constantly developing creatives: buyers often receive mobile push notifications with calls to pick up coins within a loyalty program, get acquainted with new offers (any 3 items for 5,99 USD, for example), and so on.
The last company on our list of mobile marketing examples is Mindshare UK (a marketing agency) that aimed to help LG attract a young female audience for promoting L-series handsets. So, specialists decided to launch a mobile game on Twitter called LG Ticket Hunter. The goal was to show users what the LG brand is about.
Each player could find a pair of exclusive VIP tickets for One Direction at the LG Arena hidden in 25 locations. In order to figure out places, users tweeted #lgtickethunter, which zoomed the map each time until a certain location was revealed.
This campaign managed to cause some excitement: 58 000 users created posts with the #lgtickethunter hashtag. It helped to increase sales by 28%.
It’s clear that ingenuity and creativity will go a long way, as proven by these examples of mobile advertising above. If you want to unlock your brand’s potential through similar means, you need to do it the right way. You can get inspired, but you shouldn’t copy.
Let’s say you want to introduce an interactive, AR-powered campaign like Burger King. The most crucial thing is to make this campaign your own. We recommend starting with behavioral segmentation of your audience, conducting surveys, running tests, and finding a new way to generate buzz around your brand. Don’t aim to be the second best — carve out your own path!
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