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Macy’s marries television and mobile via app efforts

November 19, 2012

Macy’s is adding a new layer of interaction to its television broadcast of the 86th annual Thanksgiving Day Parade this year with a round of mobile application marketing efforts.

Macy’s has rolled out a new mobile app that is aimed at both parade attendees and TV viewers this year. Macy’s is also leveraging NBC’s partnership with the Zeebox app.

“The Macy’s Parade has always been about creating individual magical moments that people cherish for years,” said Orlando Veras, spokesman at Macy’s, Cincinnati, OH.

“Our new interactive elements are just another way for us to connect in an immediate way with spectators, giving them additional tools that allow them to more closely interact with the Parade and become a part of the tradition,” he said.

Holiday magic
Macy’s has developed an app for iPhone and Android devices with MyCityWay.

The app builds on Macy’s partnership with MyCityWay from last year when the brand rolled out a similar app to target consumers in New York along the parade route (see story).

This year, the new app’s focus is split between interacting with NBC’s viewers at home and at parade attendees.

When users fire up the app, they are first asked if they are watching the parade from home or live in New York.

Consumers can then get more information about the balloons, floats and performers from the parade as well as track the route. The app also includes information about where users can see the balloons being filled up the night before the parade.

The app includes augmented reality to let consumers watching the parade on TV partake in the festivities. Consumers can pick an elf balloon character and customize it by adding their photo to it. This content can then be shared via social media to friends and family.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade app

Second-screen app
In addition to the stand-alone app, NBC is also leveraging its partnership with second-screen app Zeebox for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.

Consumers who download the app can follow along with additional parade content and coverage in real-time from their handsets.

With consumers often using their mobile devices while watching TV, marrying the two mediums is a smart move for Macy’s.

NBC is one of the first broadcast networks to partner with Zeebox and incorporate the app into televised content.

Most recently, NBCUniversal worked with American Express to make content on E, Bravo and Style Network commerce-enabled for app users (see story).

According to Puneet Mehta, CEO/cofounder of MyCityWay, New York, mobile helps live events build relationships with attendees, opens up sponsorship opportunities and creates long-term customer relationships.

“Mobile is a gigantic opportunity for events of all sizes and for event managers handling 1 or 5,000 events annually,” Mr. Mehta said.

“Seamlessly incorporating a top-of-its-class MyCityWay mobile city experience further enhances the user experience and overall value of the app,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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