How tech geeks and Angry Birds contribute to a successful mobile ad campaign

Samsung uses targeted mobile ads and the game to get consumers to test smart TVs.

Katie Evans

Samsung had a challenge on its hands. The consumer electronics manufacturer last year launched a new Smart TV that enables TV viewers to control volume and channels and other TV features with their voices or hand gestures and also connects to the web for streaming content and online shopping. However, many consumers didn’t see the need for a TV so advanced and responsive, says Erica Chen, associate global director for Samsung’s media agency, Starcom Worldwide.

That is, unless they tried out the TV for themselves. By digging into consumer purchasing data, Chen and her team uncovered that 86% of consumers who bought a Samsung Smart TV first tried it out in a store. In addition, online reviews and word of mouth ranked as the No. 2 driver of Smart TV purchases.

“We needed to drive consumers to retail stores, create a retail experience that allowed them to enjoy all the benefits of the product, and to share with their friends and family,” Chen says.  

To better market the new TVs, Samsung and Starcom late last year ran a one-month ad campaign using mobile advertising platform JiWire, encouraging consumers within or around approximately 15 participating stores to try out the TVs in a store by playing a special version of Angry Birds that showcased the new TV’s voice and motion control features. Once engaged in the store, the campaign asked shoppers to check in on Facebook or Twitter and post a photo of them playing. By checking in, the shopper was entered into a drawing for a Samsung TV. Participating stores included Best Buy, Sears, BJ's Wholesale Club and Fry's.

Here’s how it worked:

The vendor says its Location Graph is different than geo-targeting, which refers to the targeted ads consumers receive on mobile devices based on the web sites they visit and their location. Location Graph's location tags refer to the physical locations consumers visit such as an auto shop or Target. JiWire's philosophy is that the places consumers go provide more insight into consumers than the web sites they visit.

Those who clicked on the ad engaged with it for 44 seconds on average, by taking such action as checking in or sharing with friends on social networks photos of themselves playing the game.  That is an increase of 47% compared to the industry average for engagement in mobile ads during the time the ad ran, JiWire says. The click-through rate for the campaign was 1.03%, 70% higher than the industry average, JiWire adds.

58% of consumers who viewed the ad listing a store near them took the next action and retrieved directions and/or a map to that store. Additionally, the stores reported that 58% of customers had more positive feelings toward Samsung TVs after trying out the game on the Smart TVs in stores.

Chen says her team toyed with the idea of running radio ads in towns and counties where participating stores were located but determined that such ads would not be as targeted as reaching out only to those consumers in or near stores featuring the Angry Birds demo.

“We even thought to hire a street team to hand out flyers outside of stores,” Chen says.  “Ultimately, we decided that was not a premium experience and would be difficult to manage as this was a global promotion.”

Chen’s team also considered running ads on Facebook and Angry Birds-related web sites but it decided it was best to target consumers who were already out and near a store that was featuring the demonstration. “We know that when people are deep into their mission of stalking their ex, or trying to get to the next level of a game, the last thing they would do is get off the couch and visit a store just to try a demo game,” Chen says. “We also know, on the other hand, people are more likely to be active and spontaneous when they are already on the go—or, even better, when they are already near the retail destination.”

Samsung, JiWire and Starcom wouldn’t say what the campaign cost, but mobile ad networks typically charge per impression and/or click.


Best Buy, BJ's Wholesale Club, consumer brand manufacturers, Fry's, JiWire, location based marketing, m-commerce, Mobile, mobile commerce, Mobile marketing, samsung, Sears Holding Corp., smartphones, Starcom, Starcom Worldwide, web advertising