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Bite Interactive drives Red Carpet app sales with mobile ads

Mobile Commerce Daily interviewed Joe Farrell, director of operations, and Brant DeBow, director of technology at Bite Interactive, Los Angeles.

Here is what they came up with:

What is the strategy behind the launch of the Red Carpet app for iPhone and iPod touch? (Also, when did it launch in the App Store?)
We felt there was an opportunity to deliver an elegant, full-featured and beautiful application that captured the excitement and glamour of the Oscars.

One of our goals with The Red Carpet, was to create something as eye-catching as the stars who line the red carpet on Oscar night and obviously only $1,000,000 could deliver on that.

The Red Carpet is a great marriage between the hottest night in entertainment, the best mobile platform in the world, and the first ever $1M contest on the App store.

We also saw this as a way of building a platform for future entertainment awards apps and are currently looking next at the upcoming Emmys in August.

In addition, we are looking to leverage what we’ve built for The Red Carpet and create apps for the Grammys, Golden Globes, and of course next year’s Oscars

We launched on 1/30, after working directly with Apple for almost a month to overcome their previous “no contests” rule.

We are excited and grateful that they saw what an amazing opportunity this is.

What is the target demographic of the app?
One of the motivators for doing an app like this is the overlap in people interested in the Oscars who are also iPhone owners.

IPhone users tend to be in line with the Oscars’ core demographics: highly educated, early adopters, upper income and entertainment-savvy.

Further, Apple has an obvious affinity to entertainment and is doing well selling music, movies and TV shows right alongside apps.

Finally, unlike Games, Entertainment apps have are not an over-saturated marketplace. This has allowed Bite to enter a far less crowed space within the store and seek brand recognition and dominance.

Do you  have an official partnership with Netflix?
Bite is extremely happy to add Netflix’ rich content and features to The Red Carpet. Netflix’ movie data and powerful developer tools made them an obvious choice for premium movie content. As a registered developer we worked with Netflix’ API to deliver seamless integration for our users.

We are not specifically endorsed or partnered with Netflix other than through their developer program.

What is the price point?
The Red Carpet is $2.99.

How is advertiser/sponsor branding integrated into the app? Are there any banner ads, promotions or calls-to-action?
The Red Carpet does not have any banner ads or sponsor branding included.

For a premium app of this nature, the user’s expectations would make any banner advertising a negative experience for the user and the advertiser.

However, Bite sees a great deal of partnership opportunity for this platform and is continually looking for value added partnerships that help increase our value proposition to our users.

The key is finding a sponsor or partner that delivers value to the user – such as an entertainment focused Web site or TV show.

How is Bite getting the word out about this iPhone app and the $1M sweepstakes (i.e. marketing tactics?)
Bite believes our users are always our best evangelists and social media is one of the most powerful tools for brand awareness.

The Red Carpet allows users to share movie reviews, Buzz stories and more through branded posts on Twitter and Facebook.

We extended this functionality in our “Tell A Friend” tool to let users not only share their excitement for a particular movie or story, but for our app as well.

Social media is not a silver bullet – especially in terms of building initial awareness and a foundation of dedicated users.

To this end, we partnered with Triple Point PR to handle all of our Press Relations and made aggressive media buys on the three major mobile ad networks (AdMob, Greystripe, and JumpTap).

Will the application and/or sweepstakes be mentioned in print, TV, online or out-of-home ads? Will there be ads to promote the app and/or sweepstakes across the mobile Web or within other apps?
As mentioned above, we have aggressively marketed the app on the three major mobile ad networks.

We wanted the advertising budget to be as targeted as possible, and decided to forgo more traditional ad buys in order to concentrate our focus more on iPhone users.