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Weather Channel, Universal Studios mobile sweepstakes generates 4X as many entries as desktop

January 27, 2012

The Weather Channel's mobile entry form

A one-week sweepstakes conducted by The Weather Channel and Universal Studios has generated four times the number of mobile entries than desktop submissions.

The Weather Channel and Universal Studios are using a three-screen marketing approach to reward consumers with a trip to escape cold weather. The “Wish you were here” sweepstakes is running across mobile, Web and television for one week.

“Mobile is a key component of everything we do from initial concept through production,” said Derek van Nostran, vice president of brand strategy at The Weather Channel, Atlanta.

“Sweepstakes participation is very strong on mobile thus far with mobile entries double their relative promotional weight on our other platforms,” he said.

Mobile warming
The Weather Channel is running advertisements within its own applications and mobile Web site and third-party apps to promote the sweepstakes, which runs through Jan. 28.

The banner ads use The Weather Channel and Universal Studios logo and encourage users to tap to enter the contest.

Users are then taken to a mobile landing page where they can enter their information to win the trip.

The mobile ads also include social media and Web components that let users share the page with friends and family via social media sites or access the mobile site.

Consumers who enter via digital platforms are also given an extra shot at entering the contest. Each day, The Weather Channel is using on-air spots to reveal a secret daily word that users can type in for an extra chance at winning.

The Weather Channel mobile ads are running in places such as ESPN’s mobile Web site

Users can also enter the contest on The Weather Channel’s Facebook page.

The sweepstakes is giving away four-day trips to Universal Studios in Orlando, FL with theme park tickets and hotel and airline accommodations.

Mobile results
According to Mr. van Nostran, mobile plays a critical role in everything the company does.

The Weather Channel most recently added a pre-loaded app for the Kindle Fire (see story).

Additionally, The Weather Channel has apps for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows 7 Phone and a mobile Web site. The company claims that its iPad app is the No. 2 most downloaded app for the device with 6.5 million downloads.

By running the sweepstakes across multiple channels, The Weather Channel’s campaign is proof that mobile plays an integrated role in a publisher’s platforms.

Giving consumers an extra chance to win by watching on-air programming is also a smart move because it helps create a fully-rounded campaign.

“We want to insure that every consumer can participate on every platform seamlessly so they can get out of the cold and head to Universal Studios,” Mr. van Nostran said.

“Mobile is central to all of our marketing strategies with our advertising partners and for our own business, Weather is the original location-based marketing vehicle, and our scale allows us to tailor our marketing messages to the right consumers at the right time in the right place,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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