Hershey’s unleashes sponsored mobile data opportunity with video campaign


The Scharffen Berger mobile ad

Hersheys premium line of Scharffen Berger chocolate is one of the first brands to leverage ATTs sponsored data ads with a campaign that highlights both the branding and revenue opportunities of the new ad unit.

An ATT sponsored data deal between Hersheys was announced last month with the ads now live in applications including Pandora. ATTs introduction of sponsored data earlier this year made quite a splash in the mobile space as a new opportunity for brands and carriers to work together, and Hersheys new campaign gives marketers a sense of what these types of campaigns will look like going forward.

Our goal with testing various mobile advertising options is to focus on the potential hyper-targeting benefit that mobile provides from both a consumer and geographic perspective, said Sean Maurer, director of Scharffen Berger, San Francisco.

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Wed like to target the appropriate consumers, who enjoy premium, artisan products, earlier in the engagement cycle and begin to peak their interest about our brand and the unique Scharffen Berger chocolate-making experience, he said.

Mobile sweet stuff
The Hersheys Scharffen Bergermobile ads are running as banners within the Pandora iPhone app.

A click-through on the banner ad brings up a landing page showing a video, and copy on the ad explains to consumers that watching the clip will not dip into data from their phone plans.

The ad also features copy from both ATT and Aquto, which is powering the ads, indicating that the video is sponsored.

Consumers can then watch a 30-second Scharffen Bergercommercial that highlights the brands products.

The branded video

Once the clip ends, a message tells consumers that they have saved two megabytes on their data plan by watching the sponsored video. A promo code is then displayed within the mobile ad that consumers can apply to an online sale.

Although Scharffen Bergerdoes not have a mobile site, clicking through on the ad drives consumers to the brands ecommerce site, where they can look through and buy the companys line of premium chocolate products.

The post-video experience

Beyond the banner
This is not the first time that the chocolate brand has decided to try out a new type of mobile advertising.

Scharffen Bergerwas also one of the first brands to test a lock-screen ad last year within the mobile app Locket (see story). 

The idea behind the brands mobile advertising investments is to tap into some of the branding opportunity outside of the basic in-app and mobile Web ads on platforms that are targeted to and align with the higher-end brand messaging.

In this case, offering free data in exchange for watching a video could influence a consumer to interact with more mobile advertising and video since the megabytes will not affect their phone plans.

The sponsored content is only available to consumers with an ATT plan, and runs for roughly two weeks.

Mobile video advertising is a nascent market industry data tells us that one of the main issues with mobile video advertising is that users do not like it when it consumes their cellular data plans, said Susie Riley, founder of Aquto, Boston.

Users will often abandon the video ad, or the mobile content altogether when the user is on cellular data, she said.

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

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