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HotelTonight drives app downloads via incentive-based mobile ads

January 28, 2014

Hotel Tonight's mobile ad

HotelTonight is trying to tap into mobile gaming to drive consumers towards its mobile application by offering credit for new downloads.

When a consumer is playing games in the app Unblock Me, ads will pop up between levels that offer $25 credit if the consumer downloads the HotelTonight app. The campaign is powered by Kiip.

“We’re convinced that once a user books on HotelTonight and experiences our incredible hotels at incredible rates, he or she will be hooked,” said Kevin Kwon, mobile marketing manager at HotelTonight, San Francisco. “We’re wiling to incentivize that first booking because we’re confident that the customer will return to the
app again and again.”

Spoil yourself
These ads are taking advantage of opportune moments to attract new consumers to HotelTonight’s app.

They appear when a consumer has passed a level and congratulate the player with the following copy, “Brilliant. We’re impressed. Now time to spoil yourself.” Consumers can then click through to download the HotelTonight app and receive $25 credit.

HotelTonight is hoping that the $25 credit is enough of an incentive to grab the consumer’s attention.

The HotelTonight app is available for free download in Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

The mid-game ad

Game ads
Unblock Me is an addictive puzzle game with four levels and 5000 puzzles. Games such as Unblock Me and Candy Crush are sweeping the nation, and consumers are spending more and more time in these games.

According to an executive from SponsorPay, gaming apps make up 43 percent of time spent within all apps, accumulating 55 minutes per day (see story).

Marketers such as HotelTonight are wise to tap into this trend and benefit from these addictive games. As consumers are entranced in the games and moving from level to level, an ad from HotelTonight offering $25 credit may be able to drive these engaged consumers to the app store.

Consumers will likely appreciate a reward mid-game at a timely, relevant moment.

Toys “R” Us ran a similar campaign with Kiip that delivered mobile coupons as virtual rewards when consumers complete levels and games in Unblock Me (see story).

For HotelTonight, the in-game ad is part of a larger promotion. Anyone can invite friends and family to download the app via SMS, email or social media.

They get $25 off their first booking as does the consumer who referred them.

“It’s an inexpensive acquisition channel,” Mr. Kwon said. “It’s word-of-mouth boosted by technology. There’s more for us to explore here in the future.

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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