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Hasbro ties mobile gaming to in-store traffic via rewards-based coupons

March 20, 2013

Hasbro’s Nerf line is partnering with Kiip on an in-application mobile couponing campaign that rewards consumers for playing their favorite games.

The in-app rewards are running within the Doodle Fit Lite mobile game. The effort marries mobile apps, email and point-of-sale systems to drive engagement.

“For Nerf, a brand that appeals to both the young and the old, using in-app rewards allows them to capture the fun element of their brand and extend it to mobile,” said Brian Wong, founder/CEO of Kiip, San Francisco.

“We aligned this campaign with games and retailers that are on brand and targeted the rewards at a range of demographics that would redeem and enjoy the reward,” he said.

It only takes one person to win the reward, but the great thing is that it takes at least two to get a Nerf war on, so the campaign spreads the brand love of Nerf to whomever the war is taking place with. Many users will already have a Nerf blaster, so they’re ready to reap the benefits of the reward right away, but for those that don’t, the darts can be that needed push to go out to Toys R Us and buy one.”

Nerf declined to comment for this story.

Mobile reward
The Nerf ads pop up after consumers complete certain levels in the game.

Nerf is using the ads to promote 12-packs of its Nerf N-Strike foam darts that work with the Nerf N-Strike Elite Blaster. The pack retails for $7 at Toys R Us.

Via the ads, consumers can type in their email address to receive the toy when they spend $20 on a Nerf Blaster. Consumers also get a coupon towards the purchase.

Users are then sent an email from Kiip with a photo of the promotion.

The picture includes a bar code that can be scanned in Toys R Us stores.

The promotion is running through April 15.

In-store engagement
In the past year, retailers have embraced in-app rewards and incentives to drive in-store traffic and sales.

For example, H&M recently used in-app rewards to drive awareness of its David Beckham campaign. (see story).

Additionally, in-app rewards are an alternative to mobile banner ads, which some industry experts believe are losing steam with creative that essentially crams the same message from PC advertising campaigns into smaller-sized screens.

According to Mr. Wong, brand marketers will increasingly turn to reward-based advertising versus incentivized campaigns. Rewards are sporadic and can vary in effectiveness while incentivized campaigns are more focused on short-term prizes and rewards.

“Nerf is a natural fit because I think there’s a strong parallel between the elation of hitting a moment of achievement in a mobile game and blasting someone with a Nerf dart in a game among friends,” Mr. Wong said.

“The natural competition and joy that accompanies anything Nerf is exactly what users experience when playing mobile games,” he said.

“By using those connections, it makes it clear why brands like Nerf belong in this space.”

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

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