December 10, 2008, 12:00 AM

Target conquers the globe with new iPhone app

Snow globes are happy decorations often found in homes during the holidays. Now, Target is placing them in iPhone users’ hands, turning their iPhones into snow globes that offer gift ideas.

Utility meets cool in a new iPhone application from Target Corp.

The Target Gift Globe uses mobile technology to turn a shopper’s iPhone into a snow globe. After a shopper opens the colorful app, he selects age, gender and other attributes to focus a gift search. He then literally shakes his phone, just as he would a snow globe, and the screen is filled with falling snow that eventually dissipates to reveal a gift recommendation. He then can shake it again to receive another recommendation, and so on.

Users can touch the gift image on-screen to click through to Target.com. There they can purchase the product online or locate a nearby store.

“Target is always looking to deliver the unexpected, and we felt this iPhone application was a unique and innovative way to promote our gift finder,” says a Target spokeswoman. “Our Christmas campaign focuses on helping our guests shop within their budget, and guests with iPhones can continue to shake the snow globe until they find the right price point.” The new application was built by AKQA, an e-commerce and m-commerce technology company.

Target, No. 19 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, also operates an m-commerce site, at m.Target.com, accessible via any mobile phone with Internet access.

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