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Toy Story 3 runs click-to-buy ads to boost movie ticket sales

July 16, 2010

toystoryA Toy Story 3 campaign in the Asia-Pacific region demonstrates how the mobile ticketing experience can be enriched by an HTML5 iPhone ad.

The ad is running in GreenTomato’s Hong Kong Movie iPhone application, which has 350,000 users and lets consumers purchase mobile tickets. The Toy Story 3 mobile advertising campaign is being run through Hotmob’s mobile advertising network.

“Riding on the Toy Story brand appeal, it’s the best opportunity to introduce a HTML5 campaign to the market,” said Danny Kok, research and development team leader of GreenTomato, Hong Kong.

“The two goals we wanted to achieve were to lead a trend and set the scene for upcoming movie promotion by engaging the audience in a more interactive way,” he said. “We also wanted to promote mobile ticketing on Hong Kong Movie.

“The ad is published on four different apps but the HTML5 banner is written in such a way that users will be brought back to the Hong Kong Movie app once they’ve finished playing with the banner and click on ‘buy ticket.’”

The Hong Kong Movie application lets movie-goers buy tickets in real time and browse comprehensive movie information.

GreenTomato employed HTML5 in this campaign to enrich the user experience with better interactivity with the mobile ad.

Unlike traditional banner ads that drive users away to external sites, the HTML5 ad keeps users within the application while they interact with content-rich activities built in the pop-up banner.

For this campaign, the pop-up banner is treated as an extension of the story experience for movie goers. They can participate in the Toy Story journey even before the movie begins.

In addition to reading a synopsis, meeting characters and watching a trailer, users can conveniently buy tickets within the application.

The ads target anyone who enjoys a bit of fun on mobile, per Mr. Kok.

“Toy Story fans would certainly be drawn to the banner but we are also targeting an audience that has not yet decided whether to go see the movie and want to find out more about it,” Mr. Kok said. “In terms of the payment mechanism, users stay in the app throughout the payment process and make the purchase using credit cards.

“When they’ve finished selecting their seats – which unlike free seating in the U.S., we pick our seats beforehand – they key in their credit card information and the purchase is done,” he said. “What’s happening backend is that the app is integrated with the secured payment gateway of the cinemas.

“Information provided by the users will be routed back and synced with the cinemas’ systems and that is how real-time update is made possible.”

Dan Butcher contributed reporting to this story.

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Giselle Tsirulnik is senior editor at Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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