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Toys “R” Us hooks coupon redemptions through Passbook-enabled ads

January 7, 2014

Toys "R" Us mobile ad

Toys “R” Us is significantly streamlining the coupon redemption process with a new mobile advertising campaign that directly integrates Apple’s Passbook so consumers can easily save a limited-time offer.

The mobile ads are running inside Kiip’s network of mobile applications, including the Unblock Me iPhone app. The campaign supports Toys “R” Us’s bigger post-holiday marketing efforts.

“We elected to leverage Passbook for this campaign as the earned coupon can easily be stored via Passbook and redeemed later in-store when the customer is shopping, providing a seamless redemption flow,” said Katie Regner, spokeswoman at Toys “R” Us, Wayne, NJ.

Mobile game plan

As consumers complete levels and games in Unblock Me, the ads pop up as virtual rewards.

Once consumers unlock the rewards, they can click through to view the Toys “R” Us offer.

Copy on the ad promotes a time-sensitive sale on clearance items at Toys “R” Us stores and online.

The ad also includes a call-to-action for consumers to receive 20 percent off of a toy purchase, and the offer can be redeemed by saving a coupon to Apple’s Passbook.

Consumers can then click on the “Send to Passbook” button within the ad to have the offer saved to Apple’s built-in Passbook app.

The offer is good through Jan. 11 and is location-sensitive so that when consumers are nearby a Toys “R” Us location, the offer will pop up.

Additionally, a call-to-action on the ad encourages consumers to visit the microsite to find additional savings.

The Passbook offer

Toying around with mobile ads

This is not the first time that Toys “R” Us has leveraged rewards-based advertising to push in-store traffic.

Last year, the brand ran a campaign within apps such as Doodle Fit Lite as part of a promotion with Hasbro. In exchange for entering an email address, consumers could receive a mobile coupon for a Nerf product (see story).

Toys “R” Us has also been innovative with other forms of mobile advertising in the past year.

In December, the toy retailer leveraged voice recognition to help gift buyers find the perfect holiday present (see story).

The brand also leveraged mobile coupons with post check-in foursquare ads in 2013 (see story).

In this case, what is interesting about Toys “R” Us’ campaign is that the retailer is integrating a mobile wallet directly into an ad to streamline and increase coupon redemptions.

Additionally, Apple’s extensive amount of data on its users has the company set up to make Passbook a killer marketing tactic for Toys “R” Us and other retailers.

“Although Passbook hasn’t taken off like everyone expected, I think Apple is positioning itself to take over the retail space,” said Dirk Rients, senior vice president and director of mobile at DDB Chicago, Chicago.

Mr. Rients is not affiliated with Toys “R” Us. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

“The combination of 600 million credit card accounts, Passbook, iBeacon, Touch ID and hardware will help Apple transform the shopping experience and drive store traffic,” he said.

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

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